Belizean doctor opines on Taiwan’s Medical system

Dr. Stephanie Rivero

Contributed by Dr. Stephanie Rivero
When one thinks of Taiwan, the first thing that comes to mind might be their reputation for futuristic technological advancements. Or maybe even their economic buoyancy during the difficult past year when the rest of the countries were taking a toll. Despite these challenging times, Taiwan has managed to become an icon of public health, showing how well their successful response has been to the Covid-19 pandemic.
They were even able to provide unparalleled aid to other countries in need. This has all been possible through their exemplary medical system and humanitarian approach. Taiwan has set a leading example when it comes to their continuous outreach and donation of medical supplies and equipment to the international community. In the past year Taiwan has donated over 51 million masks to more than 80 countries worldwide.
I recently read an article where Taiwan ranked first among 93 countries in the Health Care Index for 2021. I believe this was possible greatly in part due to their accessible quality health care. Even the most socially and economically disadvantaged individuals can access the National Health Insurance. The Taiwan National Health Insurance has been a successful system, providing convenient health services to a population of over 23 million. This system is a model which many countries seek to imitate and is always undergoing improvements.
Living on this island and working in a hospital has given me the privilege of observing how exceptional their medical system is. The hospitals around the country boast the latest diagnostic tools and machinery. Being a radiology resident in training I can experience firsthand how driven the institutions are in providing the best patient health care. They are frequently finding ways to improve the quality of medical assistance given. This is paired with highly locally trained medical personnel. There is no shortage in their constant willingness to share this expertise with other countries. I cannot begin to express how grateful and inspiring this experience of shared knowledge has been. It is a privilege knowing that I will be able to take these learned experiences and skills to improve the developing medical system in my country.
Taiwan has an exemplary health care system which is made possible by their drive for excellence at all levels including health policies and their implementations. It is expected that in the future this will only continue to improve. Taiwan’s health system is undoubtedly commendable and incorporating them into the World Health Assemble (WHA) can only serve to enhance this organization.