Hospital appointment without speaking Chinese

I have fairly regular hospital appointments at NTU for post-operative sight check-ups, and while my Taiwanese wife usually comes to these with me to speak to the nurses she might not be available on one of my upcoming trips there.

The process tends to be a little complicated - I get my eyes checked in one place, I have to check in at another, go to a room filled with people and generally navigate. I checked the NTU website but all it says is “we recommend you come with a friend that speaks Chinese and your own language”.

However, a few months back during another appointment I saw an old chap wearing some kind of vest guiding another Westerner to his appointment and remembered reading somewhere about English-speaking volunteers.

Does anyone have any advice on navigating a Taiwanese hospital without really knowing any Mandarin? Are there any online resources? I’ve googled around but found nothing yet.

Edited to add: I now realise I’ve managed to miss an appointment (I misunderstood what little I could make out of the appointment print-out). Does anyone know if there’s a way to reschedule a hospital appointment at NTU online? Or do you have to go up there and talk to someone? If so, who? Any and all help hugely appreciated.

You will find people there who can speak English. Don’t worry about it. It is an easy process. People will assist.

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You can make a appointment on this site:

You can get an English-speaking volunteer at the info desk in the lobby by the main entrance.

To be honest I’ve sometimes had better luck navigating a hospital on my own, without Chinese, than when I’m with my Chinese-speaking wife. When I’m with her, nobody looks twice at me; on my own, I get an at-times-embarrassing amount of assistance. She in fact likes me to accompany her, because it’s sometimes the only way she can get the doctors to speak to her for more than twenty seconds.

Caveat: I strongly suspect this depends on looking Caucasian.

Thanks for the info about English speaking volunteers. That helps quite a lot.

I know that appointment web page, but while it allows you to cancel an appointment, there’s no link or phone number to call in order to reschedule a missed appointment after the fact (since it now appears I’ve completely misinterpreted the papers I got last time at the hospital and missed my appointment).

Good to know! While my Chinese is shit, I’ve - generally - been able to muddle along, but in the heat of the moment it’s easy to get very confused.

Just make a new appointment…and if it doesn’t let you do that, you’ll have to show up and do it in person.

I walked into Taipei City Hospital on Renai Rd to do my Resident Visa Health check and a middle aged women in a vest who spoke good English greeted me as I entered the lobby door, asking how could she help. There were others too at various places, so no problem at all.

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A hospital specializing in kidney disorders, I would assume.

(Sometimes I do love autocorrect.)

Yeah probably…fixed now.

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