Saturday, July 29, 2006

New Regulations for Local Taichung Foreigner Health Exams

Local blogger Spencer Pangborn warns that things have changed for medical exams for an ARC:

In the past, you could go to practically any hospital in Taichung, public or private, to receive a routine physical examination. This would then be used as the official medical release stating that you’re physically fit to reside in Taiwan. Once you pass the physical examination, your employer then applies for your work permit.

However, as of July 15, there are now only 2 hospitals in Taichung that have been approved by the government to administer these examinations. Unfortunately, neither of these hospitals are in Taichung City.

1. Sha Lu - Tungs’ Taichung MetroHarbor Hospital (童綜合醫院) Directions (English)
2. Feng Yuan - Feng Yuan Hospital (豐原醫院) Map (English)

I went to the hospital in Sha Lu and luckily my director drove me out there. The examination center is not easy to find and there are no signs in English to help you. Hopefully things will improve once they get settled. It really felt like this place is temporary.

Spencer has posted some vids and pics of the process. Is this for the whole of Taichung city and county? Or just Taichung city?


el spencer said...

I'm not really sure. I've spoken to at least 4 other people that have tried to go to hospitals in Taichung City for a health check and they were turned away.

Bad news indeed!

Chris said...

I suspect and hope it's just for Taichung County. I know my way around the Shalu hospital but I can see it being a huge problem for those that don't. It's usually really quiet when I've had my check-up. I'm just happy they've done away with the stool test.

Thoth Harris said...

The Fengyuan hospital is the easiest, super-easy to find, in fact. If it is the one I see all the time. It is small and very near the train station. You see it if you walk to Sogo's. It is near the underpass that goes under the railroad tracks.

Scott Sommers said...

I have no knowledge of this situation in Taichung or Taipei, but I wonder if this isn't a market issue. When I first came to Taiwan, the only hospital in Taipei that would do the examination was Renai Municipal Hospital. A while back, this regulation was liberalized and any qualified hospital that wanted to do it could. The result was a wide range in prices for the examination.

I wonder if the situation you describe is that some of these hospitals have found that it's too much trouble to go through for such a small amount of business.

Michael Turton said...

LOL. It's probably a market issue, in that the concession was bought and sold. The health check was run out of an ordinary clinic that also sees patients for other reasons and thus requires no real special expense. I smell "streamlining" in the sense that someone is lining their pockets with government subsidies for medical access.


Scott Sommers said...

I think it's perfectly reasonable to sell concessions for the right to offer health examinations. The assumption that it's an opportunity for graft is reasonable but unfounded. Given the central government's problems raising money through the conventional methods that governments use, I wouldn't be surprised if they've had to develop inventive ways to handle the situation.

Toyohara said...

I think you're confusing the Fengyuan Hospital with a small privately-owned one in downtown Fongyuan (the one across from TLC maybe?). Check the map - you'll see the hospital being talked about here is a large white building (adjacent to a big on-site parking garage) just off Yuan-huan Road (aka "The Circle Road").
The Fengyuan Hospital is a bit of a hike from the Fongyuan train and bus stations, but is still much more convenient and easier to reach than the place in Shalu.

Chris said...

It could be the Wuchi hospital which would be much more difficult to find. For Taichung County my tests have always been done in Wuchi.