Medical care in Taiwan is incredibly cheap and user-friendly. Expats moving to Taiwan will be well provided for on this Asian island. The majority of expats and Taiwanese citizens make use of government-funded healthcare through the NHI (National Health Insurance).

In order to access NHI services expats living in Taiwan need to be in possession of an Alien Resident Certificate, which proves that they are gainfully employed and paying taxes in Taiwan. Once an expat has an ARC card, they must enroll with the NHI and will be issued with a health insurance card which should be carried at all times and presented to the hospital or GP’s office when accessing medical services. The National Health Insurance plan enables members to access medical benefits such as emergency care, doctors and dentists consultations, maternity care and even traditional Chinese Medicine.

The government pays an initial fee and patients are expected to cover the remainder of the medical bill. Although the NHI system works and patients are able to access medical care easily, there are some significant flaws. Doctors are overworked and have to process a large amount of patients each day. Furthermore, doctors earn most of their money through prescriptions, so even if a condition does not require medication a doctor is still likely to prescribe medication as this will mean he or she will be paid more by the NHI.

Finally, expats in Taiwan often have to deal with a language barrier at government hospitals. ‘Special Clinics’ have been set up to attend to the English-speaking population of Taiwan, these clinics provide healthcare to expat patients only, waiting times are significantly reduced and processing referrals to specialists is significantly easier and generally fast-tracked. Expats wishing to make use of special clinics have to pay out of pocket or make use of private health insurance, as the NHI does not provide for these clinics.

For more Health Insurance information National Health Insurance Administration