Surgery payments

Hey I got a healthcare question I hope someone can help me with. I have a friend who is not working here, so he does not have national health insurance here. Will he be expected to pay for the whole surgery upfront? before release? can he make payments? can he be billed? Can anyone help me understand what will be expected of him having a surgery here without health insurance as far as payment process goes? Thanks greatly in advance!

Cash or credit card. No other options (I think).

Unless he has travel insurance, he probably will have to bear the costs entirely. On the plus side, the price for medical procedures even without insurance is quite a bit lower than in some countries.

Someone will be expected to pay for the entire amount at the time of discharge.

This happened to a “friend’s” friend. Seriously.

[color=#FF0000]Off topic[/color], but an interesting read if you want to hear the whole story.


Canadian male - employment ARC working legally - My “friend”.
Candadian female - 60 day multiple entry vistor visa - working illegally - friend and plutonic roommate of my “friend”.
Me - stupid American on an APRC.

The Canadian girl came home with a fever and pains in the lower right side of her abdomen. She had been to a Taiwanese “doctor” at a small clinic in Tanshui who had told her (without an examination) that she had a urinary tract infection and prescribed her antibiotics, painkillers, sleeping pills and told her to go home and get some rest and that she’d be better in no time. My “friend” came home and was skeptical so he called me to come and give the girl a cursory examination. She hadn’t taken any of the medication yet and I informed her that in fact she most likely didn’t have a urinary tract infection, but that she probably was suffering from an acute case of appendicitis and needed to go to a real hospital before it burst. Of course they had no car, it was cold and rainy, and they had no money for cab fare, so I drove them to the Cheng-Hsin Hospital’s ER in Tien-Mu. After admission and examination, the doctor diagnosed her with acute appendicitis and shortly thereafter wheeled her into the OR to remove it. Once the operation was completed, the doctor came out into the waiting area to inform us that in fact she didn’t have appendicitis, but a cyst on one of her ovaries which has ruptured and she was bleeding internally. Had she taken the sleeping pills and gone to bed, she would never have woken up. It was a very lucky thing that we insisted on taking her to a real hospital. She stayed in the hospital for three days and upon being discharged, needed a ride back to Tanshui. Of course I was asked to pick them up and I arrived just as she was being wheeled down to the cashier to pay for her surgery and hospital stay. She had no money, my “friend” had no money and of course they asked me if I would pay for it up front and then after she was back up on her feet and able to resume working (illegally) that she would pay me back. I did not want to pay for this and so I asked the cashier if they could just bill her. I even asked to speak to the manager of the payment department to see if she could pay in installments. However, because she was on a vistor visa and had no insurance they were not going to allow it out of fear that she would try to run out of the country without paying. In hindsight, and after knowing what I know now, that was a very good bet on their part. So, I went to the ATM convieniently located just around the corner and withdrew enough money to pay her $86,000 NTD tab for surgery and stay. I then drove them back to Tanshui without a word of thanks from either the girl or my “friend”. Within the next 4 months I received no payments toward the money she owed me and no discussion regarding when she might feel like paying me back from her or my “friend”. She even took a nice Chinese New Year vacation to Kenting with the money she had saved up from working after her surgery. When I mentioned this to my “friend”, he wasn’t concerned and thought I was overreacting. Shortly after Chinese New Year, she decided that it was too troublesome making visa runs and working illegally, so she decided to return to Canada, again without mentioning the $86K she owed me. So, I brought the debt up and she actually told me that she would pay me back after she returned to Canada. Right. I told her that I wouldn’t allow her to leave Taiwan unless she paid me back the $86K! In the end, she had to borrow the money from someone else in order that I would allow her to leave Taiwan. No gratitude whatsoever for paying her medical bills upfront!

I no longer lend money for any reason. :fume:

One heck of a story, NS. Thanks for sharing. At least you saved a life and did eventually get your money back. I, too, have been ripped off for helping others. Personally, though, I don’t let it change my attitude toward lending or giving money to help people who need it (not a judgement of your decision to never lend out money again). I follow an ethos of “pay it forward,” wherein I try to do for others what I would want them to do for me if I were ever in such a predicament. If someone doesn’t live up to their obligations to repay, then I see it as their problem rather than mine. I had a friend fail to repay a sizeable loan not long ago. Immediately afterward, another friend was in a bind. While I was considering whether to help or not, my wife tried to put the kibosh on the idea. “Last time we lent money to one of your foreign friends, look what happened.” I was going to turn him down when I deliberately decided not to let past experiences get in the way of helping. I asked the friend how much he really needed, not what he wanted in this situation. I then lent him the lower amount and was subsequently paid back swiftly and with gratitude.

What would have happened if you weren’t able to pay for the girl’s surgery bill? Would they have not let the girl leave? I usually get travel insurance or short term insurance depending on where I’m traveling.

Sorry. I don’t know what would have happened had I not paid the bill.