August 19, 2009

Health Care In Taiwan

I live in Taiwan where we had two kids delivered two years apart for about $12,000NT, or 400US. That included the delivery, and three days care for mother and child in a private room.
She then spent the rest of her month off from work (paid) in a maternity center where she was fed 6 meals a day and the babies had round-the-clock care. It was clean, quiet, and the food was excellent. This was a private hospital, though, and it cost a whopping $500US or thereabouts. To insure my family of four, around US$90 is deducted from my paycheck every month. We go to see the doctor whenever we need to, and see whichever doctor we choose. Our family physician will recommend a specialist if needed, or I can just turn up at the hospital and ask to see a specialist. Each doctor's visit costs between $3-$5. Trips to the emergency room are unavoidable, but with a fifteen-dollar price tag, it's not an agonizing decision to make whether to stay at home to see if the swelling will go down, or go ahead and get an X-ray to see if the pint of ice cream really did break my hand.

When my kids are sick, I don't have to wonder if it's serious enough to call the doctor's office and make an appointment for god-knows-when, instead, my wife and I take them by the doctor after work. Convenient, huh? We work evenings, but the office is open until 10 at night. What time does your doctor go home?

There are several pediatricians in our district and there are absolutely no restrictions on who we can go to see.

Do we have time for one more? My knee surgery with general anesthetic cost about twelve bucks American. The MRI had cost me four. I honestly cannot understand why so many of my countrymen are allowing themselves to get so worked up over this. There's a lot of vitriol being slung, including footage of a woman yelling "Heil Hitler" at someone who was trying to talk about the health care system in Israel. Whoa!

I have yet to hear a rational argument as to how the current system in place in the States can provide better health care than I am enjoying in Taiwan. "Death Panels" and "Socialism" are just scary sounding catch-phrases that have nothing to do with the current situation. Taiwan is not a socialist country and National Health Care would take America no further down the road to Communism than Eisenhower's Highway Projects, or NASA have. The Death Panel bureaucrats do exist, but instead of being government employees, they're the ones who work for insurance companies that decide that your grandmother's bone marrow transplant is unnecessary.

Walk into any small town convenience store in America and there next to the cash register is a jar with the picture of a young, happy, child, whose parents cannot afford to pay for his new kidney. When you argue against Health Care, you are arguing for a slow death for the children who stare up at you from the counter. Pro Life? Yes, Please.


Ivy said...

It is a wonder why Americans are so afraid of proposed health care reform! My hubby, the former sole bread winner, lost his job last Nov, hence our health insurance. We as a family of 4 now made too much (his unemployment check is $2000/mo before tax) to qualify for AZ state health insurance- it allows max monthly income $550 for a family of 4. COBRA would have been over $1000/mo through his former employer. Buying into private insurance policy would have cost around $800/mo. The private policy and COBRA would have at least 20% yearly out-of-pocket deductible! Most people in America are too lazy to learn about any new things on their own. They rely totally on "experts" or "party leaders" to spoon feed into to them. I am so tired of living amongst unthinking life forms!

Anonymous said...

I wish you health and happiness every day!
Ich wunsche Ihnen Gluck und Gesundheit jeden Tag!
Je vous souhaite sante et bonheur chaque jour!