Health Care In Taiwan
The health care system in Taiwan is great. As a teacher in Taiwan you automatically qualify for national medical coverage. However, this coverage does not start immediately. In order for it to begin you must have your Alien Residence Card (ARC), which can take upwards of two months to get established. It is advised that in the mean time you get emergency medical coverage before you go.
Rest assured that all doctors in Taiwan speak some level of English from their exposure to many medical texts in English. It also helps to try and find the largest hospital in your area, as it will undoubtedly have the largest staff to draw an English-speaking doctor from.
If you have a medical emergency dial 1-1-9 to reach emergency services in Taiwan. You can also call one of the medical centers listed below and they may have the ability to dispatch one of their own emergency vehicles to come and get you.
Traditional Chinese Medicine in Taiwan
For over 3000 years traditional Chinese medicine has healed sick and imbalanced bodies through massage, manipulation of blood flow and acupuncture. The theories of these practices were long ago outlined in The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Internal Medicine written between the third and first century B.C.
Baguan is the art of placing large bell-shaped vacuum caps on one’s back (see picture). The idea is to pull blood and any toxins that reside in it to the surface of the body using the strong suction inside the cups. Bringing the blood to the surface draws the toxins out and allows the body to rid itself of disease. The downside is that the cups leave large circular bruises on the skin. These bruises will slowly heal and change back to a normal skin tone over a period of about a month.
Guasha will typically follow a baguan treatment. The technique involves pressing a cow-horn implement onto pressure points along the entire back. The tool is then dragged (in a scraping motion) along the back that causes bruising. This brings more of the body’s internal impurities to the surface to be cleansed. The next step is an acupuncture treatment to help the body relax and heal faster by balancing the flow of yin and yang.
The technique does not always involve needles going into your skin. Acupuncture can also involve using a small steel prong connected to a source of low electrical current. This is pressed onto different pressure points on the body until the flow of electricity stimulates these points. The initial sensation can be very painful, especially if one of the acu-points that is being pressed connects to a body organ or energy field that is unhealthy. The soreness is temporary though and the initial sting is replaced by a sense of relaxation.
In traditional acupuncture needles are pushed into acu-points that are connected with energy fields or internal organs. It is the stimulation of these acu-points that activates that organ or energy field. Through a combination of techniques this stimulation unblocks organs or energy flows in order to induce proper function.
A trained professional will grab your hair in a special way and slowly start to pull. They will start gently but continue to apply more pressure until your eyes become slits and the skin on your forehead is stretched tightly back. The pain involved is exquisite, but when it’s done your whole body tingles and feels like rubber.
Pharmacies In Taiwan
Small pharmacies can be found in just about every little neighborhood throughout the country. Here you can find all your common cold remedies as well as other hygienic products. Pricing is very cheap particularly compared to what you may be use to paying back home. If you need to refill a prescription it is best to return to the doctor from whom you received it.
Hospitals and Medical Centers in Taipei
- Address: 424 Pa Te Rd., Sec. 2, Taipei
- Telephone: 2771-8151
- This clinic is very popular in the expatriate community and probably treats more expat patients than all other clinics combined.
- Address: Jen Ai Rd, Sec. 4., Taipei
- Telephone: 2708-2121
- Address: 77 Chung Hsiao E. Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei
- Telephone: 2751-0221
- Address: 199 Tun-Hwa North Road, Taipei
- Telephone: 2713-5211
Cheng Hsin Hospital
- Address: 45 Cheng Hsin Rd., Shih Pai, Taipei
- Telephone: 2826-4400
Chung Shan Hospital
- Address: 11 Lane 112, Jen Ai Rd., Sec. 4,Taipei
- Telephone: 2708-1177
- Address: 61 Jen Ai Rd., Sec. 4, Taipei
- Telephone: 2771-3161
Mackay Memorial Hospital
- Address: 92 Chung Shan N. Rd., Sec.2, Taipei
- Telephone: 2543-3535
National Taiwan University Hospital
- Address: 7 Chung Shan S. Rd., Taipei
- Telephone: 2312-3456
- Reputed to be one of the best medical facilities in Taiwan
Shin Kong Hospital
- Address: 95 Wen Chang Rd., Shihlin
- Telephone: 2833-2211
Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center
- Address: 125 Lih-der Rd., Pei-Tou District, Taipei
- Telephone: 2897-0011
Taipei Municipal Yang-Ming Hospital
- Address: 105 Yu Sheng Street, Shihlin
- Telephone: 2834-9721
Tri-Service General Hospital
- Address: 325 Cheng Kung Road, Section 2, Nei Hu District, Taipei
- Telephone: 8792-3311
Veterans General Hospital
- Address: 201 Shih Pai Rd. Sec.2, Shih Pai, Taipei
- Telephone: 2871-2121
- One of the largest government hospitals in Taiwan
Hospitals and Medical Centers in Other Areas of Taiwan
Changhua – Changhua Christian Hospital
- Address: 135 Nanhsiao Street, Changhua
- Telephone: (04) 723-8595
Hualien – Tzu Chi Buddhist Hospital
- Address: 707 Chung Yang Road, Section 3, Hualien
- Telephone: (03) 857-8600
Kaohsiung – Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
- Address: 123 Ta Pei Rd., Kaohsiong
- Telephone: (07) 731-7123
Keelung – Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
- Address: 222 Mai-Chin Road, Keelung
- Telephone: (02) 2431-3131
Linkou – Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
- Address: 5 Fu-Hsing Street, Kuei Shan Hsiang, Taoyuan Hsien
- Telephone: (03) 328-1200
Taichung – China Medical College Hospital
- Address: No. 75 Yuh Der Road, Taichung
- Telephone: (04) 205-2121
Taichung – Chung Shan Medical College Hospital
- Address: 110, Chienkuo N. Rd. Sec.1, Taichung
- Telephone: (04) 473-9595
Taichung – Taichung Veterans General Hospital
- Address: 160 Chung-Kang Rd., Sec. 3, Taichung
- Telephone: (04) 359-2525
Tainan – Chi Mei Foundation Hospital
- Address: 901 Chung Hwa Rd., Tainan
- Telephone: (06) 281-2811