Sat, Jan 07, 2006 - Page 10 News List

`Medical tourism' inspires NTU Hospital

CNA , TAIPEI

The National Taiwan University Hospital has begun a new international service aimed at foreign patients, hospital officials said yesterday.

The service will mainly focus on foreign businessmen in Taiwan in the initial stages. In the future, the hospital will launch an international publicity campaign highlighting Taiwan's high-quality medical care and its relatively inexpensive medical costs in an attempt to attract foreign patients in the Asia-Pacific region, the officials said.

They said that the hospital has assigned a group of senior physicians from various disciplines to provide outpatient services in English and that health care workers will also help make the necessary arrangements if hospitalization is required.

However, the international service is not covered by National Health Insurance and each patient will be charged a registration fee of NT$500 (US$15.5) and an examination fee of NT$1,500 per visit, they said.

For appointments or inquiries, foreign patients interested in the service can call the hospital on (02) 2312-3456, ext. 5992.

Hospital officials said the idea to start the service was inspired by the successful model of "medical tourism" promoted by Singapore.

According to Singaporean media reports, major medical institutions in the city state last year received a total of 400,000 foreign patients, mainly from Indonesia, China and India.

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