Wed, Jul 30, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Book lauds nation’s medical tourism

HEALTHY FUTURE Taiwan is meeting the health needs of its people. Rated as having the second-best healthcare system in the world, it also offers tourism opportunities

By Regina Hsu  /  CONTRIBUTING REPORTER

Josef Woodman, center, and Council for Economic Planning and Development Vice Chairman San Gee, first left, hold up the Taiwan edition of Woodman’s book Patients Beyond Borders in Taipei yesterday.

PHOTO: CNA

A book introducing Taiwan as a prime destination for medical tourism was released yesterday in Taipei.

Part of the Patients Beyond Borders series, which covers issues relating to medical tourism, Josef Woodman’s Patients Beyond Borders, Taiwan Edition takes a close look at the nation’s medical facilities.

Speaking at a press conference, Woodman said: “The time has come for Taiwan to at last be recognized as a leader in global healthcare and a greatly desirable medical travel destination for anyone in the world seeking high-quality, affordable, lower-cost medical care.”

Taiwan has achieved many medical milestones, he said, adding that hospitality and care were strong points in its healthcare system. In 2000, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked Taiwan’s healthcare second best in the world after Sweden.

Taiwan Task Force on Medical Travel secretary-general Wu Ming-yen (吳明彥) said Taiwan was one of just five countries to have its own edition of Patients Beyond Borders and that this was a first step toward bolstering the medical tourism industry here.

Department of Health Deputy Minister Sung Yen-jen (宋宴仁) said people were increasingly interested in global healthcare.

Taiwan hopes to attract Chinese and Taiwanese from the US, Canada and other parts of the world to seek medical treatment here, where they can experience comparatively cheap, high-quality care as well as a familiar culture, he said.

“We are working to increase international acknowledgement of Taiwan’s medical care and medical travel to Taiwan. We have the wherewithal to meet the needs of Taiwanese and the Taiwanese diaspora, but we are also capable of serving people from all over the world. Everybody can receive world-class medical care in Taiwan,” Taiwan External Trade Development Council President Chao Yung-chuan (趙永全) said.

Woodman said the book would be promoted in the US, the UK, Canada, throughout Taiwan and elsewhere.

“As one who has visited more than 100 hospitals in 12 countries over the past two years, I see that Taiwan’s future as a medical travel destination is bright,” he said.

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