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Foreigners can visit Taiwan for medical care starting Aug. 1

2020-07-24

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — International patients will be allowed to seek medical care in Taiwan under certain conditions beginning on Aug. 1, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) announced on Wednesday (July 22). During a press conference on Wednesday, CECC official and director-general of the Ministry of Health and Welfare's (MOHW) Department of Medical Affairs Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said that foreign patients seeking treatment in all areas of healthcare, with the exception of checkups and cosmetic surgery, may apply to receive medical care in Taiwan. Shih added that patients may also apply to visit with up to two companions, including their spouse, relative, or caregiver. The documents and information required include the following: A health insurance certificate An affidavit for mandatory quarantine A health declaration document (including a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result issued within three days of the patient's flight) A disease prevention plan and treatment plan issued by the medical institution treating the applicant On March 19, Taiwan barred all foreign nationals from entering the country as the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak accelerated. Shih said that this disrupted healthcare for many foreign nationals who had been visiting the country for treatment. As the outbreak has been brought under control in Taiwan, Shih said that the CECC has decided to allow foreign nationals to begin entering the country for medical treatment on Aug. 1. Medical institutions in Taiwan can now begin applying for entry permits with the MOHW for their foreign patients. After obtaining approval from the ministry, the applicant or their medical institution may go to the relevant authority or agency to apply for a special entry permit. Once individuals have obtained permission to seek medical care in Taiwan, they and those persons accompanying them are required to provide an English certificate of a negative COVID-19 RT-PCR test result issued within three days of boarding. They must also wear masks during their flight. Upon arrival in Taiwan, the patient and those accompanying them must undergo 14 days of quarantine and pass a COVID-19 test before they can be released. Those who test negative can then begin their medical treatment. In the case of those who require urgent medical care, they may be directly admitted to a designated ward or negative pressure isolation ward in the medical institution they had originally planned to visit. If they test negative for coronavirus, they will receive the originally planned medical care while undergoing the 14-day quarantine. As for related fees, the patients will responsible for covering the cost of their quarantine, COVID-19 testing, and medical consultation and treatment. The medical institution treating the patient will help them handle the required quarantine and testing measures, including booking a quarantine hotel and making advance preparations for transportation. Those wishing to find out more about medical services in Taiwan can visit the MOHW website Taiwan Medical Travel.

Foreigners can visit Taiwan fo...

Global Traveler lauds Taiwan as top medical tourism destination

2020-05-08

Well-trained doctors, cutting-edge technology, access to natural environment make Taiwan attractive By Huang Tzu-ti, Taiwan News, Staff Writer 2020/05/08 12:28 TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan has been hailed as an attractive medical tourism destination by American travel magazine Global Traveler. An article published Tuesday (May 5), “Taiwan: A Hot Spot For Health,” said Taiwan has become increasingly popular in Western countries, including the U.S., as a place to seek medical treatment. The island country boasts state-of-the-art medical equipment and well-trained doctors, many of whom studied in the U.S., the article said, adding that the fact that American citizens are granted 90 days of visa-free sojourn makes it even more appealing. In addition to affordable common procedures, such as coronary artery bypass grafts, hip replacements, and cosmetic surgery, many hospitals in Taiwan also provide customized service. A bonus for those planning a medical journey is the plethora of natural settings and hot springs across the island, which are excellent for travelers needing relaxation and recuperation following medical treatment, it said. Shih Chao-huei (施照輝), director of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Los Angeles, noted that healthcare will be a top priority for people in the post-coronavirus era. This presents an opportunity for Taiwan to promote itself as an ideal destination for medical tourists, wrote CNA. Last month, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) released a short film about a Guamanian who sought medical assistance in Taiwan. Tormented by years of painful spine and hip ailments, he is finally able to get his life back on track after receiving surgeries in the country. (Source:https://www.taiwannews.com.tw/en/news/3930301 )

Global Traveler lauds Taiwan a...

MOFA releases short film ‘Looking Up Again’, showcasing how Taiwan’s high-quality medical care gave new lease of life to Guamanian man

2020-04-27

Date:2020/04/23 Data Source:Department of International Information Services At a time when the COVID-19 is spreading around the world and the joint efforts by the government and the people of Taiwan in pandemic prevention and various foreign aid initiatives have garnered international praise, MOFA is today releasing an all-new short film, ‘Looking Up Again,’ showcasing Taiwan’s high-quality medical care to the international community, spreading the message that “Taiwan can help and Taiwan is helping” when it comes to global public health. The film describes how a Guamanian man suffering with untreated spinal and hip deformities and at a low ebb in life, was recommended medical treatment in Taiwan by a friend, and, as a result, is once again able to hold his head up high and look up at the sky, with a new lease of life. The protagonist of the film, Theodore D. Nelson, or Ted, was previously a strong guy able to lift 55 gallon drums of water. Due to hip and spine deformities, however, for nine long years, he’s been unable to do seemingly simple and ordinary things, like walk, fish or even sleep. These are luxuries that the pain he suffers no longer affords him. As his health continues to deteriorate, causing him continual anxiety, on a friend’s suggestion, he traveled with a family member to CMU Hospital in Taiwan last year to receive treatment. After undergoing three surgeries on both hips and his spine, Ted is finally able to walk upright again, and the pain no longer causes him to lose sleep at night. Now he can even enjoy the pleasure of fishing with friends. At the end of the film, Ted walks into a café and sits down to enjoy an everyday pleasure. Looking at a photograph of himself and his family smiling brightly alongside the Taiwanese medical team, he thinks of everything he’s been through, and the new lease of life he has now and writes down “Thank you, Taiwan,” and, getting a little choked up, he says thank you in English and Chamorro (Thank you, Si Yu'os Ma'åse), a testament to how Taiwan’s high-quality medical care gives back to the international community. As Guam is lacking in medical resources, in the past people there sought medical attention in neighboring countries, but more recently Taiwan’s reputation for high-quality medical care has spread, and so more and more Guamanians are choosing to come to Taiwan for medical care each year. This includes local elites, such as Ted, who comes from a political dynasty in Guam. Through releasing this short film, MOFA hopes to show the world that Taiwan is putting the UN sustainable development goals into practice, ensuring the health and welfare of people of all ages around the world and calling for international support for Taiwan’s inclusion in the World Health Organization, so that we can all work on pandemic prevention together. MOFA is first releasing a short version of just one minute in length, before releasing the full-length four-minute version. The film is in English and is being released in 10 different subtitled versions, including English, Chinese, Japanese, French, Spanish, German, Indonesian, Thai, Vietnamese and Russian, which will all be released simultaneously. You can watch them on MOFA’s Facebook Page or on the Trending Taiwan YouTube channel and Facebook Page. Feel free to share the video with your friends! (E) Trending Taiwan videos links in 10 languages: 中文版 English 日本語 Français Español Deutsch Bahasa indonesia ไทย Tiếng Việt

MOFA releases short film ‘Look...

Taiwan's coronavirus response is among the best globally

2020-04-20

By James Griffiths, CNN Updated 0422 GMT (1222 HKT) April 5, 2020 Hong Kong (CNN)On January 25, as the world was still waking up to the potential danger of the novel coronavirus spreading rapidly out of central China, two governments recorded four new infections within their territory. Australia and Taiwan have similar sized populations of about 24 million people, both are islands, allowing strict controls over who crosses their borders, and both have strong trade and transport links with mainland China. Ten weeks on from that date, however, Australia has almost 5,000 confirmed cases, while Taiwan has less than 400. The question is not what Australia did wrong -- 20 countries have more cases than Australia, and seven have more than 10 times as many -- but how Taiwan has kept the virus under control when other parts of the world have not. Hard learned lessons During the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) outbreak of 2003, Taiwan was among the worst-hit territories, along with Hong Kong and southern China. More than 150,000 people were quarantined on the island -- 180 kilometers (110 miles) off China's southeastern coast -- and 181 people died. While SARS now pales in comparison to the current crisis, it sent shockwaves through much of Asia and cast a long shadow over how people responded to future outbreaks. This helped many parts of the region react faster to the current coronavirus outbreak and take the danger more seriously than in other parts of the world, both at a governmental and societal level, with border controls and the wearing of face masks quickly becoming routine as early as January in many areas. Taiwan has a world-class health care system, with universal coverage. As news of the coronavirus began to emerge from Wuhan in the run up to the Lunar New Year, officials at Taiwan's National Health Command Center (NHCC) -- set up in the wake of SARS -- moved quickly to respond to the potential threat, according to a recent report in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). "Taiwan rapidly produced and implemented a list of at least 124 action items in the past five weeks to protect public health," report co-author Jason Wang, a Taiwanese doctor and associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford Medicine, said in a statement. "The policies and actions go beyond border control because they recognized that that wasn't enough." This was while other countries were still debating whether to take action. In a study conducted in January, Johns Hopkins University said Taiwan was one of the most at-risk areas outside of mainland China -- owing to its close proximity, ties and transport links. Among those early decisive measures was the decision to ban travel from many parts of China, stop cruise ships docking at the island's ports, and introduce strict punishments for anyone found breaching home quarantine orders. In addition, Taiwanese officials also moved to ramp up domestic face-mask production to ensure the local supply, rolled out islandwide testing for coronavirus -- including retesting people who had previously unexplained pneumonia -- and announced new punishments for spreading disinformation about the virus. "Given the continual spread of Covid-19 around the world, understanding the action items that were implemented quickly in Taiwan, and the effectiveness of these actions in preventing a large-scale epidemic, may be instructive for other countries," Wang and his co-authors wrote. "Taiwan's government learned from its 2003 SARS experience and established a public health response mechanism for enabling rapid actions for the next crisis. Well-trained and experienced teams of officials were quick to recognize the crisis and activated emergency management structures to address the emerging outbreak." In particular, Taiwan's rapid and transparent response -- with medical officials holding daily briefings on the matter -- has been held up as an example of how democracies can still rein in epidemics, even as some were claiming only an autocratic government like China's could effectively control such a rapidly spreading virus. Taiwan also avoided the type of strict lockdowns that characterized the response in China and many other countries. Pandemic politics Taiwan's relative success in stymying the coronavirus outbreak has largely been overshadowed by the worsening crisis in Europe and the US, and the sense that, if any lessons were there to be learned, the moment has passed. While that may be true, why Western countries did not follow Taiwan's lead in January and February when they still had a chance remains unclear. One contributing potential factor many observers have pointed to is that Taiwan, unlike most every other governments, is not a member of the World Health Organization (WHO). Taiwan is claimed by China as part of its territory, and Beijing blocks Taiwan from participating in many international organizations unless it does so in a way that conforms to the "one China" principle -- which obfuscates the island's separation from mainland China -- such as calling itself "Chinese Taipei" in the Olympics. Taiwan did have observer status at the WHO until 2016. That changed, however, with the election of President Tsai Ing-wen, of the traditionally pro-independence Democratic Progressive Party, which has been followed by Beijing massively ramping up pressure on Taipei, poaching its few remaining diplomatic allies and staging military shows of force. The WHO argues that Taiwan's exclusion from meetings of member states does not have an effect on the day-to-day sharing of health information and guidance, with experts and health workers still interacting with international colleagues through the organization. However, numerous observers, including Taiwanese officials, have claimed that it has had a negative effect both during the SARS epidemic and the current crisis. Natasha Kassam, an expert on China, Taiwan and diplomacy at Australia's Lowy Institute, said that early on in the coronavirus pandemic, a lack of direct and timely channels to the WHO "resulted in inaccurate reporting of cases in Taiwan," with WHO officials apparently relying on Beijing for numbers from the island. "Taiwanese authorities have complained about the lack of access to WHO data and assistance," she said. That lack of information may have forced Taiwan to go it alone and make decisions early on independently of the WHO guidance and broader international consensus. Assistance goes in both directions, however, and in recent weeks, Taiwanese officials have repeatedly complained that their exclusion from the WHO is preventing the island playing its full part in the global response. "We want to help -- to send out our great doctors, our great researchers, our great nurses -- and to share our knowledge and experience with countries that need it," Vice President Chen Chien-jen, a Johns Hopkins-trained epidemiologist, told the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei last week. "We want to be a good global citizen and make our contribution, but right now we are unable to." Officials on the island have seized on an interview with WHO assistant director-general Bruce Aylward by Hong Kong public broadcaster RTHK last week, in which he appeared to dodge a question on Taiwan, blaming internet connection issues. In a statement, the WHO said that "the question of Taiwanese membership in WHO is up to WHO Member States, not WHO staff." Speaking to reporters Friday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying, said that all sides clearly understand "that WHO members have to be sovereign states." "There have been no issues with Taiwan's participation in relevant WHO events and its obtaining information on public health emergencies, including this pandemic," she claimed, contradicting the island's own government. "We hope (the US and Taiwan) stop their attempt in engaging in political manipulation under the pretext of the pandemic." A spokesman for the WHO told CNN that "some people are confusing WHO's technical global public health mandate, with the mandate of countries to determine WHO's membership." "Every year, WHO and Taiwanese authorities and experts interact on vital public health and scientific issues, according to well-established arrangements. During the current Covid-19 pandemic, there are regular interactions as well," they said in an email. "The Taiwanese caseload is low relative to population. We continue to follow developments closely. WHO is taking lessons learned from all areas, including Taiwanese health authorities." https://edition.cnn.com/2020/04/04/asia/taiwan-coronavirus-response-who-intl-hnk/index.html

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Taiwan only country to help Palau amid coronavirus pandemic

2020-04-07

Palau's UN representative tweets her gratitude By Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer 2020/04/02 20:05 Coronavirus aid from Taiwan for Palau (screengrab from Ambassador Uludong's Twitter account) TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – When the small Pacific island nation of Palau asked for help against the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, its official ally Taiwan was the only country to help out, a diplomat said Thursday (April 2). In early March, Taiwan also analyzed the tests on a volunteer from the United States who had been working in Palau, and they tested negative for the virus. Palau’s permanent representative to the United Nations, Ngedikes Olai Uludong, tweeted Thursday about her frustration with international help efforts. “Palau has been asking the global community for help and NO one responded except Taiwan! Thank you so much. Friends indeed! When ALL the experts says (sic), test, test, test! BUT no one to help … Thank you Taiwan. You know who your friends are!” she wrote. Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) spokeswoman Joanna Ou (歐江安) said the country would expand aid to its allies in the spirit of “Taiwan Can Help, and Taiwan is Helping,” CNA reported. Taipei has long mounted a campaign to gain observer status at the annual World Health Assembly, but opposition from China has prevented progress on the issue, though the current coronavirus pandemic is moving more countries to express support for the idea. Earlier in the week, Taiwan pledged 10 million masks for the United States, European countries, and its allies.

Taiwan only country to help Pa...

Palau president thanks Taiwan for helping keep coronavirus at bay

2020-03-09

By Ching-Tse Cheng, Taiwan News, Staff Writer 2020/03/05 15:53 Tommy Remengesau Jr. (left) expresses gratitude to Taiwan. (Palau Presidential Office photo) TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Palau President Tommy Remengesau Jr. said Wednesday (March 4) that the Taiwanese government has contributed greatly to epidemic prevention in the West Pacific nation, which so far has not had any cases of Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19). In an official statement, Remengesau pointed out that an American health worker in Palau who was admitted to a local hospital earlier this week after displaying flu symptoms has tested negative for the coronavirus. He said that the medical staff took the situation very seriously and called them heroes that are helping to keep Palau free from the spread of the virus. The Palauan leader said that the country has collaborated closely with the World Health Organization (WHO) as well as several health agencies in the U.S. He also expressed gratitude to the Taiwanese government and its Centers for Disease Control (CDC) for assistance and support in the battle against the epidemic, reported CNA. Remengesau said that Taiwan's CDC has helped Palau maintain the highest possible response level and that the Palau government will continue to promote personal hygiene among its citizens. He emphasized that fear, rather than the virus itself, is the people’s biggest enemy, as can be observed from many past situations similar to the current outbreak, reported ETtoday.

Palau president thanks Taiwan ...

Taiwan helps Pacific ally Palau with coronavirus test

2020-03-09

By Matthew Strong, Taiwan News, Staff Writer 2020/03/07 16:04 Taiwan helped Palau conduct a coronavirus test (CNA photo) TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwan recently analyzed the coronavirus tests on a volunteer from the United States working in Pacific ally Palau, proving Taiwan helps out other countries, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said Saturday (March 7). Taiwan has tried to join the World Health Organization (WHO). It attended the annual World Health Assembly, using the phrase “Taiwan Can Help” to promote its case in the face of Chinese opposition. When the U.S. volunteer showed symptoms of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) recently, the government of Palau decided to send the test data not to the U.S., which would have taken much more time, but to its ally Taiwan, CNA reported. First, on March 5, a doctor in Taiwan used videoconferencing to tell a local colleague in Palau how to conduct the virus test, after which a nurse boarded a flight to Taipei with the sample. In the end, the analysis proved the volunteer had not been infected with the coronavirus, the CECC said. The process showed that Taiwan was a valuable ally, with the president of Palau sending a message of gratitude, according to the CNA report.

Taiwan helps Pacific ally Pala...

GMH signs MOU with Taiwan Adventist Hospital

2020-01-10

By Pacific News Center -January 9, 2020 Guam Memorial Hospital signed a memorandum of understanding with Taiwan’s Adventist Hospital this afternoon. The MOU establishes a collaborative arrangement between GMH and the Taiwanese hospital which is one of the largest medical facilities in that country. Unlike GMH, Taiwan Adventist Hospital is Joint Commission-accredited. It is located in Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei. Under the terms of the agreement, Taiwan Adventist Hospital will accept GMH patients and seek payment from the patients directly, or their insurance provider. GMH will not be held liable for the services provided in Taiwan. GMH and TAH retain full control of their own “assets and affairs of their respective institutions” and neither hospital “assumes any liability for any debts or financial or legal obligations incurred by any other party.” The term of the agreement is one year from January 1, 2020 and it will “renew for an indefinite number of additional one-year terms” unless one or the other party provides a 30-notice to terminate. GMH Administrator Lillian Perez-Posadas signed on behalf of GMH. Dr. Hui-Ting Huang M.D. signed on behalf of TAH.

GMH signs MOU with Taiwan Adve...

Taiwan hospital performs life-changing surgery on boy from Myanmar

2019-12-24

FOCUS TAIWAN, 12/23/2019 08:22 PM Courtesy of Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital Taipei, Dec. 23 (CNA) Fifteen-year-old Loke Swe from Myanmar, who was born with the fingers on both hands fused into a fist, underwent successful surgery at Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital in Taipei, allowing him to realize his dream of being able to write normally one day, the hospital said Monday. For most people, writing or picking up objects is second nature, but for Loke Swe with congenital syndactyly, even feeding himself or writing is extremely difficult. Owing to the poor health care system in Myanmar, no hospitals or medical institutions in the country were able to give Loke Swe the surgery he needed. In addition, amid clashes between ethnic rebels and the security forces in the Kokang region in 2017, Loke Swe and other displaced children from poor families were sent to a Buddhist nunnery in Yangon. Courtesy of Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital In April, Hou Sheng-mou (侯勝茂), superintendent of Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital who specializes in orthopedic surgery, led a medical mission to Yangon, where he met Swe and was moved by his determination to overcome his physical disability. After returning to Taiwan, Hou decided to assemble a cross- departmental medical team to pay for the treatment the teenager needed in Taiwan and allow him to fulfill his dream of writing and drawing like others. Lin Yu-hsien (林育賢), a plastic surgeon at the hospital who performed the surgery, said that the main difference between humans and most other mammals is that people can use two or three fingers to grasp and hold objects. Generally, a baby's fingers separate at about six weeks of pregnancy, Lin noted. The incidence of congenital syndactyly of five digits is about 1-in-2,000 to 1-in-3,000, Lin said, adding that Loke Swe's condition is very rare. Describing the surgery on Loke Swe as difficult, Lin said such a procedure is normally performed on children aged two or younger with better finger joint development than older children. Taking Loke Swe as an example, Lin said the teenager's thumb is about the same length as his fingers and the finger joints almost fused together, making the operation challenging. The medical team first separated Loke Swe's thumb from his palm, then detached his middle finger from his ring finger and eventually divided his fingers into three sections, enabling him to hold objects. Loke Swe told CNA that he was delighted to receive the surgery in Taiwan because he would no longer be laughed at due to his strange motions and difficulty writing and holding objects. Courtesy of Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital Hung Tzu-jen (洪子仁), vice superintendent of the hospital, said the surgery not only helped Loke Swe but will also raise the international visibility and image of Taiwan's medical and health care sector. Noting that Taiwan's health care system is often measured against the world's best, Hung said he hopes the successful surgery will encourage more people of means in Myanmar to seek medial treatment in Taiwan. (By Chen Wei-ting and Evelyn Kao) Enditem/AW

Taiwan hospital performs life-...
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