It is only human that at one point in our lives we are to get sick or have complications in regards to our health. For the past three years of living in Taiwan I have had numerous check-ups, surgeries and other health related experiences that I had to undertake. After having experienced Taiwanese health care at first hand, I have the opinion that it is very reliable and efficient. I must mention that at first I was skeptical about going to see a doctor or going to hospitals due to the fact of the language barrier and having the feeling that you may not be comprehended. Eventually, I had to overcome these feelings because health is very important and we have to trust that we are in the right and capable hands of the doctors wherever we may be.

I remember my first trip to the doctor was for having a cold. I went alone because we had just arrived at the university, so we had no health insurance and had not met any local friends.  It was a bit complicated because I only knew a few mandarin vocabularies and was afraid that I may not be able to get my message across to the doctor. It was to my surprise that the doctor knew English and so I became relieved and relaxed. After this first experience, I had confidence to make an appointed to the doctor anytime I became ill.

What I also observe is that it takes longer for you to wait for your appointment than for it to be over. Actually, this scenario is true for most health centers or hospitals around the world; the doctor listens to you, tell you to do some tests and finally prescribe you a list of pills and medicines. The latter will happen in less than 15 minutes and you may not be guaranteed that all the prescribed medications will have a positive effect. Despite all your waiting and knowing the length of your appointment it is comforting to know the doctors,  nurses and other staff members are very friendly, kind, always try to make conversation and welcomed, even though they cannot speak English very well. This really shows that Taiwanese are interested and make efforts for you to feel welcomed to Taiwan.

After being a usual patient in the same health center or hospital, you become well known by the nurses and doctors and eventually they become your good friends. In my case, I don’t regard them as nurses or doctors anymore because they know my situation first hand and they treat me as a friend as well. They always give me words of encouragement and tell me not to give up. In addition, they always tell me they can practice their English with me and I can practice mandarin when I am there to which I have no objections.

I guess health care in Taiwan is not limited to getting better or recovering from a very horrific accident but with the way you perceive the experience and the people you meet along this journey to recovery. Health care systems may always have their defects but it is up to us to make the best of it and to appreciate what is being done for us. All I have to say is that I am very grateful for being in Taiwan and for the good job and attention that the Taiwan heath care system has done for me.

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