A Facebook post by a US student who talked about his experience of receiving high-quality, low-cost medical care in Taiwan has gone viral and has been picked up by the Washington Post.
Kevin Bozeat, 25, who is studying in Taiwan, related how efficiently he was treated when he went to the emergency room of a Taiwanese hospital with severe gastrointestinal symptoms.
“I was immediately checkedin by an English-speaking nurse,” Bozeat wrote on Feb. 17 in a post titled “Went to the ER in Taiwan.”
“Within 20 minutes I was given IV fluids and anti-emetics. They took blood tests and did an ultrasound to ensure it wasn’t gall stones or appendicitis. From there I was given a diagnosis: a particularly severe case of Acute Viral Gastroenteritis (aka the stomach flu),” he wrote.
He said he was later discharged with a prescription for anti-emetics and pain medication, and was back to normal after a few days.
The total bill for the hospital visit and medication was US$80, Bozeat said, adding that if he had National Health Insurance (NHI) coverage it would have been less.
“This could have easily cost me hundreds or even thousands in the US without insurance. But here in Taiwan I was able to receive speedy, quality care comparable to what I would have gotten in a US hospital for relatively small amount of money,” Bozeat wrote. “Given this experience, I no longer have a reason to fear or hesitate getting care in Taiwan should I ever need it.”
His post has since gained more than 120,000 likes on Facebook and has been shared 210,000 times. It was also referenced in a Washington Post report on Feb. 28 that mentioned Taiwan’s health insurance system amid intensifying debates about healthcare in the US.
In a follow-up post on Feb. 24, Bozeat said he wanted to make a clarifying statement in response to some of the comments on his first post.
“This system exists because the Taiwanese government believes that healthcare is a right for all of its citizens, rather than a privilege for those who can afford it,” he wrote, citing a Ministry of Health and Welfare English-language brochure.
The Washington Post, citing a report released last month by the journal Health Affairs, said about 6.1 percent of Taiwan’s GDP was spent on healthcare in 2017, whereas the US spent about 17.2 percent of its GDP on healthcare during the same period.
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