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2007-11-10
Taiwan promoting medical tourism project in New York

New York, Nov. 8 (CNA) A Taiwanese delegation led by an official of the Department of Health (DOH) is currently visiting New York to promote a DOH project to attract overseas visitors to Taiwan for several medical services in which Taiwan enjoys a competitive edge.

DOH Counselor Tsai Su-ling, Taiwan Nongovernmental Hospitals & Clinics Association Secretary-General Wu Ming-yen, and representatives of several major general hospitals in Taiwan are visiting New York after winding up their visit to Los Angles. The delegation will next proceed to Washington D.C.

The five areas in which the DOH thinks Taiwan enjoys a competitive edge are liver transplantation, craneofacial reconstruction, cardiovascular intervention, artificial reproductive techniques, and joint replacement techniques.

Tsai said that if Taiwanese expatriates are not satisfied with the medical care available in the United States, they could consider returning to Taiwan for treatment and visit their family members at the same time.

She said that except for Japan and Singapore, Taiwan offers some of the best medical services in Asia. In a bid to promote Taiwan's high-quality medical service, the DOH worked with major medical institutions to push for the project, hoping to earn a niche in the lucrative "medical tourism" market.

The DOH is hoping to produce NT$7 billion (US$215.52 million) through medical tourism within three years, according to the plan.

In the initial three years, the program will primarily focus on Taiwanese expatriates, although visitors from China, Japan and the United States will also be targeted.

Wu also said that if medical institutions in Taiwan can strengthen their English proficiency and if barriers to the U.S. insurance system can be eased, the number of U.S. citizens coming to Taiwan for the medical services will increase dramatically. (By Hwang Jaw-pyng and Lilian Wu)


 
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