Taiwanese tourist prematurely goes into labor in Okinawa, faces NT$1.68M medical bill

As the Taiwanese woman gave birth overseas, national health insurance will not cover her expenses

(Image by Unsplash on Pixabay)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- A pregnant Taiwanese woman traveling to Okinawa unexpectedly went into labor and gave birth to her child while still in Japan and now faces 6 million yen or NT$1.68 million (US$55,000) in medical expenses, which are not covered by Taiwan's health insurance.

As the woman, who was 7 months pregnant at the time, gave birth overseas, Taiwan's national health insurance will not cover her medical expenses. A local overseas Chinese association has called for donations to help resolve her plight. 

Ryukyu Shimpo reported today that the 20-year-old woman and her 23-year-old husband arrived in Okinawa on March 29 on a tour of the island, but she went into labor early they next morning and was rushed to a local hospital, where she gave birth to a baby weighing only 884 grams (1.94 pounds). Since the baby is 2 months premature, there are additional costs in caring for the child.

As the couple does not speak Japanese, local Mandarin speakers volunteered to interpret for them, for which the husband has expressed his gratitude. 

The Ryukyu Overseas Chinese Association has said that it will donate 1 million yen or about NT$280,000 to the couple and they appealed for members of the public to also make donations. Those wishing to donate can call the association at +81-98-862-9153.