Record Number of Visitors Seek Treatment in Taiwan

More than 414,000 medical visits were made by foreigners last year, marking a new record and the first time that visits made by people from ASEAN members exceeded the number of visits by Chinese medical tourists, Ministry of Health and Welfare data showed.

The number of medical visits made by foreigners has been increasing across the nation since President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) took office in 2016, and the total number of visits increased by nearly 110,000 last year from a year earlier. 

Previously, Chinese visitors accounted for most foreign medical visits to Taiwan, but last year the number of medical tourists from ASEAN member states was higher, followed by visitors from the Americas and East Asia.

Foreigners who receive healthcare services in Taiwan are not funded by the National Health Insurance, but the quality of Taiwan’s healthcare is said to be their motivating factor.

Visitors from the Middle East only account for about 1 percent of all medical tourists to Taiwan, but the number is growing steadily, and some health examination clinics are also acquiring halal certification to attract Muslim customers.

About 100,000 Chinese medical tourists visit the nation each year, with the number reaching a record of 130,000 visits last year.

An attending physician at a medical center said that many Chinese do not trust the healthcare system in China, so they would rather spend more to receive treatment in Taiwan.

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