Sat, Nov 11, 2017 - Page 12 News List

Taiwanese delegation hopes to establish a patient transfer system in Malaysia

By Lauly Li  /  Staff reporter, in Kuala Lumpur

Taiwan External Trade and Development Council president and chief executive officer Walter Yeh, left, and Taiwan Economic and Cultural Office representative James Chang, right, play drums at the opening ceremony of the Taiwan Excellence Pavilion yesterday at IOI City Mall in Putrajaya, Malaysia.

Photo: Lauly Li, Taipei Times

A delegation of medical experts from nine Taiwanese hospitals and clinics led by the Taiwan External Trade and Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) is visiting Malaysia, hoping to establish a patient transfer system with Malaysian medical institutes and introduce more patients to Taiwan.

“We aim to draw more overseas patients to Taiwan. We believe that it would benefit Taiwan’s medical and tourism industries and support the nation’s economy in the long term,” TAITRA president and chief executive officer Walter Yeh (葉明水) yesterday said on the sidelines of the Taiwan Health Industry Forum at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center.

The delegation includes representatives from National Taiwan University Hospital, Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Kaohsiung Municipal Siaogang Hospital and Lee Women’s Hospital.

More than 300,000 overseas patients visited Taiwan for physical examinations, operations and other medical services last year, Yeh said, adding that the number of patients from Malaysia accounted for more than 3 percent, or 10,000 patients, of Taiwan’s total overseas patients.

As Singapore and Thailand are also competing for the business opportunity from overseas patients from other Southeast Asian nations, Taiwan has to step-up its efforts in promoting the nation’s medical services, Yeh said.

Compared with medical services in Singapore, the average expense for a similar treatment is one-third in Taiwan, providing Taiwan an upper-hand in the fierce competition, Yeh said, adding that Taiwin has 15 Joint Commission International-accredited medical institutes, while Thailand has only two.

The TAITRA believes there is a huge potential for Taiwan to increase its number of patients from Malaysia, given that the accumulated number of Malaysian graduates from Taiwan’s universities reached more than 150,000 last year and currently has 16,000 Malaysian students, Yeh said.

The TAITRA is also assisting Taiwanese food and beverage makers obtain halal certification via the council’s Taiwan Halal Center.

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