Important flow chart
To know if this article is going to be useful for you or not, please follow this simple flow chart. Click to enlarge.
If it’s your first time at the hospital you’ll have to register and gave them a couple of details about you: the usual contact details, allergies, current medication and conditions, etc. Nothing out of the ordinary. There is a small registration fee, around 200NTD.
Once you’re in their system, most of the hospitals have an online appointment system. The process is the same as going there, so we’ll talk about both here.
- Find the doctor you’d like to see
- Each of them will have a specific available time at the hospital
- Book your time, you’ll receive a registration number (usually under (50)
This number will be your seat in the queue when you’re seeing the doctor during this time slot. If your number is low (under 10), got there early, but if you have a higher number, you’d rather go there during the second half of the consultation period.
The doctor appointment
Find the consultation room. It’s usually written with your registration number. Then just wait in line for your number to be called. If you came in late, and your number is already gone, knock at the door and give your NHI card. You’ll see inside the room a nurse who is in charge of processing.
I noticed Taiwanese doctors tend to speak a bit of English, but not that much. Even if they are American diplomas on the wall. Most of them won’t be proactive about your diagnosis and it’s your job to tell them what’s wrong with you. Don’t hesitate to ask as many questions as possible, otherwise they will finish the consultation as fast as possible.
If you need specific tests (x-ray, blood work, etc.) they’ll set you up with the hospital facilities. Once you’re done, go back to the doctor and knock at the door.
Getting medicine and paying
Once you’re done with the doctor, bring all your stuff to the counter at the entrance to pay what you’re due. It should be relatively cheap. Then you’re free to go to the hospital pharmacy if you need to pick medicine. Depending on how efficient they are, you should not wait too long there.
A list of hospitals in Taipei known to having more or less experience with foreigners: