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Health liaison centers at airports can boost medical tourism: Ma

Health liaison centers at airports can boost medical tourism: Ma

Taipei, Dec. 28 (CNA) Eyeing the increasing number of foreign tourists to the island, Taiwan has launched five "health liaison centers," including four at airports, with the aim of boosting medical tourism. The "International Health Liaison Centers," with four being located at Taipei (Songshan) International Airport, Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport, Taichung International Airport and Kaohsiung International Airport, and another in Taoyuan county, will provide health consultation and enhance Taiwan's medical care image, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare. "The launching of the health liaison centers marked a historic moment, and we would like to let more people enjoy our services," President Ma Ying-jeou said at an unveiling ceremony at Taipei Airport. "Good quality, inexpensive prices and kind services are the advantages and strengths of Taiwan's medical care system," he added. With the number of foreign visitors nearly reaching eight million this year, Taiwan has great potential to develop its medical tourism, Ma said. Taiwan has seen a growing number of foreign visitors getting medical treatment or health checkups nationwide. The number hit 170,000 last year, and will likely reach 200,000 by the end of 2013, the president said. Although the output of Taiwan's medical treatment industry is likely to total NT$13 billion (US$433.47 million) this year, "there's still room to improve," Ma said, adding that the growing tourism sector can also boost business. The Tourism Bureau is making a final push to achieve its goal of recording 8 million overseas travelers to Taiwan by the end of the year, up from some 7.31 million travelers in 2012. The establishment of such health centers is part of a free economic pilot zone project, which opens free trade districts at harbors and international airports to foreign investments (including those from China), Ma said. In addition, more than 200,000 people are expected to visit Taiwan for medical treatment under the project this year, according to the ministry. The ministry said it has selected 45 qualified local medical institutes to provide quality services to meet the needs of foreign visitors, and the five centers will give advice to help match visitors with the most suitable medical institutes. (By James Lee)


Updated : 2021-10-22 12:52 GMT+08:00