View Full Version : National Health Care

09-07-2007, 06:13 PM
In Taiwan, even us foreigners have the National Health Care plan. The monthly premiums are tiny and the employer and employee split the cost. I'm not sure what it is because I don't get a detailed statement from my company. They lump the 6% income tax and the health care premium together. In any case, it's nowhere NEAR the frikkin $300/month I pay to maintain my HMO in the US should we decide to move back.

Here people go to the doctor a lot, even just for a cold. The co-pays are tiny and most basic prescription medicines are just given to you by the doctor.

I have only had occasion to use it twice so far. The first time was when I thought I broke my finger playing volleyball. I went to the hospital emergency room for an X-ray. My co-pay for the whole thing was less than US$20. The second time was last night. I went to the dentist for a cleaning and X-ray. My co-pay was about US$3.

Granted, the cost of living in Taiwan is lower than the US. The average income is perhaps US$1000/month. The hospitals and clinics aren't fancy and provide few frills. But they get the job done. I've never heard of long waits for basic services. But nor have I heard of illnesses bankrupting anyone or going untreated.

I wish the US would could have such a program.

09-08-2007, 11:50 AM
CraigTPE, I don't know how long you have lived in Taiwan to experience the full impact of their National Health Service, but in my opinion, the medical care in this country is among the best in the world. I have spent half my life living in the U.K. and the remaining half on the East Coast here in the States.
The NHS in the U.K. operates on a shoe string, and is extremely inefficient.
The doctors' waiting rooms are crowded with patients seeking help for minor problems such as a cold, as you described, or other mundane ailments that can be treated with over the counter medications. There are ridiculously long waiting lists for folks requiring surgical procedures which over there, are considered "non-urgent"; I have personally known of a few unfortunate elderly people who have passed away because their situation changed to critical before the required surgery was able to be scheduled. Another person died of Multiple Myeloma because she was not able to receive kidney dialysis. Apparently dialysis treatment is very expensive, and this treatment is saved for patients under 60 yrs of age. This lady was 61.
British doctors are over worked, and very much underpaid, considering the length of their medical training and the importance of their job.
I am convinced that if a similar program was introduced here in the U.S. the quality of healthcare would diminish considerably.

09-08-2007, 12:44 PM
Welcome to Tripso, LVH. It's good to have you aboard. I hope we'll see your posts often.

09-08-2007, 04:59 PM

I have been in Taiwan for almost 3 years. I have only had occasion to use the National Health Care plan twice. In my limited experience and from talking to my Taiwanese friends, the problems you talk about in the British system don't seem to be an issue here.

Health care in the US is nice..... if you can afford it.