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Medical tourism arrivals to Taiwan up 156% to 100,000 in 2012.

Taipei, Dec. 26, 2012 (CENS) -- Taiwan witnessed 100,000 medical tourists this year, far exceeding the goal set at 60,000 and surging 156% from last year's 39,000, according to Walter Yeh, executive vice president of Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA).

Revenue generated by medical tourism is estimated at NT$70 billion (US$2.33 billion), of which 40% believed by mainland Chinese. Such value is expected to rise a 20% in 2013 and TAITRA hopes Taiwan's medical tourism can surpass that of South Korea in five years.

Yeh said that the quality of Taiwan's medical care is very good, but needs to be promoted to international tourists. The Department of Health approves some 40 hospitals and clinics on the island to treat Chinese tourists, with the Taiwan Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation, a non-profit and non-governmental hospital accreditation agency here, certifies 19 plastic surgery clinics for quality of treatment.

Also 14 Taiwanese hospitals are approved by the Joint Commission International (JCI), a U.S.-based world's leading health care accreditation agency, Yeh added.

Yeh believes that Taiwan's medical tourism can outpace S. Korea's driven by rising mainland Chinese tourists as clients, as well as sizable overseas Chinese in North America and Southeast Asia also looking for quality, cheaper medical care in Taiwan.

For instance, a knee joint can be replaced in Taiwan for about US$15,000 or NT$435,000, but costs in the U.S. or Canada about US$50,000.

Starting in January of this year Taiwan has been offering medical care visa to Chinese mainlanders, and lately TAITRA has been promoting Taiwan's medical tourism in metropolitan Beijing and Shanghai.

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Article Details
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Author:Li, Judy
Publication:The Taiwan Economic News
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:9TAIW
Date:Dec 26, 2012
Words:276
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