Hello, all. I have sleep apnea, but have recently been losing a good amount of weight. My cpap respiration machine is getting old. I’m thinking I should go in, have another sleep study done, and maybe get a new one or see if the weight loss has lessened it to the point where the machine is necessary. So I’m looking for a sleep specialist, a doctor or a center where they do sleep studies and that sort of thing, in Taipei. Can anyone help me?
Taipei Medical University Hospital has a full-on Sleep Center.
You need to change your cpap because it needs a maintenance.
[quote=“aahz”]So I’m looking for a sleep specialist, a doctor or a center where they do sleep studies and that sort of thing, in Taipei. Can anyone help me?[/quote]Dr LEE Peilin runs (ran?) the Sleep Center at NTUH. She holds office at the old NTUH so you should go there to make an appointment (I think Thursdays are best to catch her, but head over to NTUH first and ask when would be the soonest you can see her). They will likely want you to see a doctor first before scheduling a sleep test. The sleep test is covered under NHI - an amazing deal. It costs 15x more for the same test (out-of-pocket) in the Philippines.
The sleep lab is actually at the NTUH Extension on Keelung Road, behind the main NTU Campus. I used to go in for a sleep test annually, until I started using a portable auto-CPAP. Sleep tests were only one-night (unlike other countries where 2-nights is the norm). As of 2008, there NTUH’s sleep center had its own floor and 6 test rooms – two beds to a room, I think. I also recall you have to book well in advance.
Where do you get your CPAP supplies?
Wow, thanks for the very informative answer, Goose. I will definitely have to contact who you mentioned. And I’m very excited that the sleep test is covered under NHI… that saves me a lot of headaches!! You made me very relieved and excited about actually doing something about my condition (which I’ve been honestly putting off).
I get my cpap supplies (when I need them) through online stuff when I was in the USA. Now that I’m here I haven’t bought any new ones. My machine is very old by now, though, and I know I should get a new one, if not only because mine is old but so that I can use this old one as a backup.
Again, thank you.
I’m glad to help, but be sure to double check the NHI coverage. My information/memory is quite dated (4 to 5 years old) - and much could change.
I once asked my neurologist in the Philippines what I should do with my old (first) CPAP, and she said she could sell it second-hand to her other patients who cannot afford it. I would practically be giving it away, at about 10 cents to the dollar. I figured if I really tried, I could try to ebay it somehow, but I liked the idea of helping a fellow Apneic who could not afford the machine.
These days, I buy my supplies at CPAP.com. I’ve been to the medical equipment trade show in Taipei and found resellers selling supplies there (machines, masks, straps), and the landed pricing is pretty hefty. I don’t blame them – but since I have the option of buying online in the US and asking friends to bring them back to Asia, I save A LOT doing that.
Last December, walking around Taipei Main Station (not far from American Pie Internet Cafe), I came across a CPAP store. It was more like a showroom, although they did have a “demo” area where one could lie down – kind of a make-shift sleep lab. I did not recognize the brands of the machines, and when I asked the price, I was quoted well in the high 20,000’s. You should be able to find Auto-PAPs on CPAP.com for half that price.
Btw, one more story about my experience at NTUH: in preparation for my second sleep test there, they asked me to wear a Blood Pressure monitor for 24 hours. Every 5 minutes, the device would kick in and take my BP, then store the reading on a chip in the device. That was kinda cool. The next day, I returned the device and that night I went to the sleep center on Keelung Road. The results and analysis were included in my report. I only remember paying NT$ 1,000 or 2,000 each time I did the sleep test (even with that 24h BP), which is why I believe the test is covered by the NHI.
Wow, that’s awesome. Would you believe that I paid out of the pocket (because I did not have medical insurance) $3000 or so for the sleep study in the states? That’s US dollars, btw. Oh, and I did ask around about CPAPs at that hospital in Gong Guang but they seemed ridiculously expensive (I think I was quoted 30000-60000 NT).
Anyways I contacted that email and I will probably phone tomorrow, just to confirm contact.
That sounds about right. My very first fixed pressure CPAP machine cost me US$ 2,000. Two years later, I discovered CPAPdirect.com – which I think was the predecessor to CPAP.com – where the same machine was being sold for under $400.
It costs a lot to bring them in and provide support. I actually feel for the importers. The company that imports Respironics and Resmed machines has an office on Songjiang Road (I don’t know if they are still there, or if that company is still the distributor). Dr Lee asked the sales rep to help me out: I did not know how to change the pressure setting of my second (still fixed pressure) CPAP. The rep was a good guy and I met him at his office on a Sunday – I think I was flying out later that day. The office was empty but he met me downstairs and we went up there, where he taught me where to pop open a panel in my machine which unlocked something – then he showed me how to use different button combinations to reset the machine (it looked like we were hacking my CPAP: given there were only 4 buttons and a 2-digit digital display, I thought it was pretty wild what I could do then. What I needed to learn was how to raise or lower the fixed pressure setting).
I was so grateful for the extra effort he put in (gratis), I saw an IC card reader from him. That CPAP could track when my breathing dropped below a certain level, and recorded it on an IC card hidden behind that panel. With the card reader, I could pop in the IC card and generate graphs of my night’s sleep. I never used it though, and then I soon upgraded to a portable Auto CPAP.