Country: Taiwan is a state in East Asia. To the west is the nearby state of the People’s Republic of China. To the east and northeast is Japan, and to the south is the Philippines. Taipei is the capital and the country’s total population is approximately 23 million. Mandarin and English are the most commonly spoken languages.
To access emergency services: Dial 119
Currency: New Taiwan dollar (TWD)
Recommended immunizations and vaccines for travelers: Before traveling to Taiwan, ask your doctor what vaccines are recommended. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) are excellent resources as well.
Insurance: Find out in advance if your insurance plan will make payments directly to providers or reimburse you later for overseas health expenditures.
It is also worth ensuring your travel insurance will cover ambulances or transport either home or to more advanced medical facilities, if needed. Not all insurance covers emergency medical evacuation home or to a hospital in a major city, which may be the only way to receive medical attention in a serious emergency.
Source: International Association for Medical Assistance to Travelers.
What to expect in a Taiwanese hospital: Medical care in Taiwan is modern. Western medicine is practiced and physicians are well trained. It is common to find physicians who have completed fellowships or other training in the United States. State-of-the-art medical equipment is often available. In addition, traditional Chinese medicine, with an emphasis on herbal medicines, acupuncture, and related treatments, remains widely practiced and Chinese apothecaries abound.
The infrastructure for health care in Taiwan is dependent on national health insurance, which covers most of the island's 22 million people. As a result, doctors and hospital-based outpatient clinics are under enormous pressure to see large volumes of patients in relatively short periods of time. It is not unusual to find doctors seeing as many as 30 patients an hour in the largest and busiest specialties. Expect to wait in crowded, uncomfortable waiting areas to see your clinic doctor.
Urgent or elective care for short-term visitors is available in four different settings: priority care clinics that cater to foreign visitors, emergency rooms, hospital outpatient clinics, and private clinics. The most convenient place to receive care for privately insured Americans who do not speak Mandarin is in one of several Western-style clinics. Hospital-based outpatient clinics, while often having very good doctors, will differ dramatically from Western ideas of privacy and the doctor-patient relationship.
Health care is generally much less expensive than in the United States. However, priority care centers for Westerners are more expensive, though usually cheaper than similar care in the U.S. Wherever you seek care, it is always pay as you go. If you are privately insured, you must submit your receipts for reimbursement.
Contact your embassy/consulate: When in doubt, your country’s embassy is a good resource to turn to for medical assistance guidance.
JCI-accredited hospitals/clinics in Taiwan: To read about specific facilities that are JCI-accredited, visit the Hospital Search section.
Taiwan-specific helpful health resources:
Travel health notices: Visit the CDC or the WHO for up-to-date travel notices.