My name is Alejandra Maria Mencía. I am from Honduras, Central America where the National Health Insurance is a big trouble. It varies in quality and availability. We do not have  many public clinics or even doctors in most parts of the rural areas. People from places outside the city have to travel long distances to get a medical appointment and wait for many hours to be attended.  The medication prescribed  for special cases is most of the time unreachable for many people because the drugstores sell it at very high prices. Ambulance services are very limited in the principal cities and almost unavailable in the rest of the country. People from low-income are unlikely to qualify for good medical treatment because the limited resources in Honduras. Facilities for advanced surgical procedures are not available. I wish my country had a better health care insurance for the people and stop losing valuable lives.

One of the concerns that I had about living in a new country was the health care issue. I thought that in Taiwan it would be more difficult because the language barrier. My first experience was when we  arrived in our school, National Pingtung  University of Science and Technology. They did a general medical examination that included our weight, height, cardiovascular, blood pressure, visual acuity, dental, chest X-ray, pulse rate, ears, hepatitis B test, HIV test, among others. After a few weeks later they gave us our results and depending on our health status, they also made some medical  suggestions. With our heath insurance card we can go to any of the health insurances centers. I have noticed that there are many of these centers around school. The price is really cheap, they only charge you 50 TWD per appointment and sometimes it includes the medicine prescribed. Most of the doctors speak English but when they are not really familiar with some terms, they have some notes about the most common symptoms of a disease. I really appreciate the way they treat their patients. They always try to find the best way to understand and help people.

I also had an experience before getting the insurance card, because you get it until four months after after your arrival. I once had an emergency and I went to a hospital in Pingtung City. The nurses and doctor treated me very well  and at that time I had to pay by myself. My project manager helped me with the refund application procedure and fortunately I got a high percentage of the reimbursement. I am also really amazed about how cheap is the skin and dental care treatment. It costs about 150 TWD and it also covers medication. If you ask for extra medication or a treatment that the insurance is not able to cover, the clinic sell it to you at low price. Sometimes the doctor ask you to come back for a checkup. That was also one of my experiences with this great health insurance; I was that lucky that they didn't charge me the consultation fee and they provided me the normal medication for free and the special treatment at a lower price.

It is very comforting for my family to know that the insurance I have here in Taiwan is a high quality service and available anytime I need it. For me, the health care issue is not a problem anymore. I really appreciate that my scholarship benefits also include this excellent service.

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