Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) has been one of the driving forces behind the promotion of the health tourism industry since 2008. This year, the TAITRA will focus their efforts on creating the added value of hospitals in Taiwan and building the brand of the health industry in Taiwan. The TAITRA hopes to promote the health tourism industry as the pioneer of the healthcare park in the Free Trade Zone.
The TAITRA said that in 2008, there were 68,000 international tourists visiting Taiwan for services of in-patient and out-patient care, plastic surgeries and health check. Last year, the number exceeded 230,000. The output of the health tourism industry grew from NT£1 billion in 2008 to NT$13.6 billion in 2013, up by 126%. For this year, the number of health tourists has already reached 170,000 as of in August, generating a total output of NT$9 billion. The MOHW estimated that the total number of health tourists could reach 250,000 this year, and the output could exceed NT$18 billion.
Branding will be one of the future directions. The TAITRA expressed that the healthcare providers in Taiwan have an expertise in treating severe injuries and diseases. The TAITRA will help hospitals to advocate successful treatment cases of rare diseases and severe diseases so as to promote the industry’s image of high tech and high skills. This will help the industry to upgrade their services from primary care to special treatments and build up the competitive edge.
For example, Dr Chen Chao-Long of Kaohsiung Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital is an authority on living donor liver transplantation and Dr Wei Fu-Chan of LinKou Chang-Gung Memorial Hospital is an expert in reconstructive surgery. Dr Wei recently helped a woman from Hong Kong to reconstruct her seriously injured chin.
The TAITRA expressed that most hospitals in Taiwan have their own medical specialties which will be the basis for branding. The TAITRA will help hospitals to build up their own brand and strengthen the added value. The TAITRA will also link their work to the MOHW’s project of “Healthcare Branding Guidance Project” and to encourage the hospitals in Taiwan to promote international health tourism.
【2014-12-08 / Economic Daily】