One thing that get’s me about Taiwan and I think reflects a lot on its society is the state of medical practice.
To me this is underscored by how many times one has to go and see a doctor to fill a simple prescription for antibiotics. If you have some rudimentary infection, such as an ear infection, it could quite reasonably take up to 6 trips to the doctor just to fill the prescription.
Doctors tell you they are only allowed to script 3 days worth of antibiotics. Most first line antibiotics take 12 days to kill off even a staph infection. Given that in Taiwan it’s unlikely that the first line antibiotics will be effective anyway you will have to go back another two times to fill the second line prescription. This practice is illegal in most civilized countries.
Added to this churning the doctors receive per pill payments from the pharmacuetical companies. Hence Taiwan has the highest rate of pill presciption in the world. This is another practice which is illegal in most countries. Finally, the hospitals are allowed to dispence as drugstores which is another illegal practice in the civilized world.
The odd thing is that everybody is complicit in this practice, the hospitals, the doctors and the government. The people are hearded around like mindless morons putting up with it. It’s the typical bully you, stuff you around, sh#t on your kitchen floor if you leave me nothing to steal attitude that permeates all Taiwanese thinking. And I’m reminded of Kurtz every time I’m stuffed around by it when he reflected on the darkness of his own soul.