Fri, Jan 27, 2012 - Page 2 News List

Expats make it a healthy holiday with check-ups

Staff Writer, with CNA

The number of Taiwanese expatriates signing up for health checks is expected to double this month, owing to the presidential election and the Lunar New Year holiday, medical institutions said.

“The number of overseas Taiwanese who have made reservations with us — about 180 — is almost twice the number as in the same period last year,” Wellness Center deputy general manager Angela Tseng said.

Taiwan, with its reputation for low-cost and high-value healthcare, has always been a favorite destination for overseas expats looking to have check-ups during the three main holiday periods — Double Ten Day, Christmas and the Lunar New Year — she said.

This year, given the nine-day vacation, the schedule would be even tighter, she said, noting that bookings for the week before Lunar New Year were already about 70 percent full by the middle of last month.

“They want to do as much as possible during their short stay in the area,” Shin Kong Medical Club president Alex Hung (洪子仁) said, explaining the surge in the number of overseas Taiwanese signing up for health check-ups. “They want to meet up with family and friends, vote for the president and look after their health at the same time.”

Although Shin Kong Medical Club mainly serves the local community, it is also prepared to handle twice that number of clients from abroad, Hung said.

A 40-year-old Taiwanese businessman, who has been living in Beijing for six years, said he felt safer in the hands of Taiwanese doctors.

“The hospital environment in China is less desirable,” he said. “I would not dare call a doctor when I’m sick, let alone have a health check there,” said the man, who identified himself by the surname Chang (張).

“The medical service in Taiwan is better and there are not as many communication problems either,” Chang said.

He said he always suggests that his colleagues from Taiwan return home for physical exams.

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