Unpopular opinion: healthcare in Taiwan is very bad

Yes and no.

OToneH they did try and kill me, but OTotherH I didn’t have to wait for a year for them to try and kill me, like I would have had to in The Yook.

Re Taiwanese doctors perhaps not being model spouses, since I have no ambition to marry one (though my rheumatologist seems a nice girl), I’m not much bothered.

Re the nerdy guys in the fancy nightclub, having asked myself twice why that might be, as directed, I’d guess

(a) Because Taiwan is a centre for the semiconductor production industry.
(b) Because Taiwan is a centre for the semiconductor production industry.

Ask me another.

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Yup. But the doctors encourage that by catering to unrealistic customer expectations.

Taiwanese GF nagged me to go to GP on a recent UK visit due to persistent cough we both had, because she wanted “medicine”. Told her there was no practical treatment for viruses, and NHS isn’t the pharmacopia she’s used to, and so it prooved.


Visit to a Taiwan clinic would have yielded a variety pack of symptomatic treatments in individual multicoloured tissue paper wrappings, including some of mysterious and very doubtful efficacy, and some dangerously short courses of antibiotics.


Not in all countries. In my home country you only need to be smart. Medical school costs are the same as any other faculty, there are also scholarships and sponsored programs (e.g. be a military doctor, the army pays for med school, and you sign a contract to serve as a doctor for 7 or 8 years).


I think this is one of the things that are wrong in the system. clinics and hospitals make money on prescriptions (not just on the visit fee), hence they have an incentive to prescribe medicine. I agree with you that back home a doc would probably tell you to rest and drink plenty of tea for a couple of days, but here you get at least 3 different kinds of medicines. someone also told me its a cultural thing (giving the patient a feeling that their visit to the doctor was worthwhile, and they ddnt leave empty handed)


I think that most Taiwanese have no idea about their ailment, and just want the doctor to give them a bag of pills as placebo. The doctors speak to you like you’re a child, too.
Doc: How many times do you poo-poo every day?
Me: Um, usually once.
Doc: What color is your wee-wee?
Me: Yellow, I guess.
Doc: Do you drink alcohol?
Me: Yeah.
Doc: Tut-tut. That’s bad for you. Do you smoke?
Me: Sure.
Doc: No-no. Don’t smoke. It’s bad for you. Do you have Taiwan girlfriend?
Me: Um, I’m married.
Doc: Very good. Does your wife drink and smoke?
Me: Can you just look at the fucking wart on my toe?


That’s also the case in Taiwan. Medical schools might be slightly more expensive because of the books and the lab equipment and more years of study. Of course students who are from poor backgrounds have lots of disadvantages growing up, but if they are smart enough to be admitted, the entire village will make sure they will be able to attend. Medical schools here have slots for public-funded (公費) students vs. self-funded (自費) ones. The former have to serve in remote areas for several years, thus less preferable (lower scores than the latter, but still very competitive). Still, it would be a viable option for poor students.


That’s fast service!

I showed the doctor here my badly infected ingrown nail that wasnt resolving. I made it clear I was fearful of losing my nail forever. He took out the nail immediately and with care to not damage the stem cells and sent me home. The nail grew back a year later. It looks great!


I THINK I tend to find the opposite, because their English base is often too narrow for the “tummy trouble” (stomach cancer) euphemistic jive that is par for the course in The Yook, so they tend to use specific technical terms.

I might not always know these, but I can look them up.

They do tend to be a downer on boose, but that’s the case in Scotland too, though with rather more local reason.

You sure about that?

That is so true.
My girlfriend is a nurse at a private clinic, older people won’t leave until they have 5 different pills.
Placebo pills are used Doctor charges for them.
Win win situation.
Very busy clinic majority older ones because they get what they want, not bog roll though they have to ask for it. All gets stolen if they leave it out.

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Has the OP responded at all? I demand a second opinion!

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Public healthcare is supposed to cover the basics, which NHI does. The problem with healthcare system in many Western countries nowadays is that the system (like NHS and stuff), which used to be good at covering the basics and then some more, is overwhelmed to the point that it doesn’t even cover the basics.


The new fad in Taiwan:

Opening dental clinics.

Annecdotally, it seems quite common for people to take strong medicine without understanding the side effects. Or for patients to be taking similar medicines perscribed by doctors at different practices.

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For some meds that should be impossible as all is logged into the NHI database. I need to sign a logbook at my doctor’s practice for sleeping pills.

Perhaps it’s all just placebos, diarrhea powder and pain killers then.
Again it’s all annecdotal, but I know of it happening with some more serious medication once.

Note: I’m not at all claiming there is widespread malpractice or that this is a regular occurence. Just some annecdotes I’m sharing on the topic. Most of my personal experiences have been positive.

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This. Plus they just type stuff on the computer, rub you a little to resell their use and on you go.

“NHI paid” doctors here are bormally not amazing. like mechanics, you need to find a good one that cares, isnt stressed to push through NHI card swipes for the company (hospital, clinic etc, that means you have limited time!) then not try and sell you unnecessary add ons. such as pills, surgeries etc. And most importantly is careful enough not to further fuck you up because they are idiots.

the pay doctors are better here, but then the price becomes more realistic and not heavily subsidized and the whole Taiwan dream starts to dissipate.

It is a myth that we should rely on this “amazing system”. Reality is we should be saving up for old age because the care that is needed ain’t free usually. And the care that is free is usually quite poor quality.

that said I have gotten MRI for serious issues same day. less serious same week. My family in canada claim 6~12 months for medium severity MRI. international community thinks, wow. I think, ya, government just got deducted a fuck ton of cash… the few hospital owners I know are rich as all fuck. Clinics are doingextremely well as too!

It is a business here, not socialized in the least.


You don’t need to be employed. It’s mandatory for everyone.

No, it’s not free, but very close to free. At least for most people. High income earners naturally pay a higher premium, but they can afford it.

There are so many competitively priced private clinics in Taiwan. Stop being poor and just go to one. They can refer you back to NHI for a specialist/surgery/etc.

the issue is finding the good ones. ive been to some "recommended " clinics that look like they are in a Manila slum. when the clinic looks run down its hard to trust the doctor. i have a stronger sense of confidence when its a hospital.
Vice versa is also true, went to a fancy eye doctor near Daan Park, he quoted me 50% more than other places, probably to justify his rent.