Taiwan recently amended its Medical Act in February 2010 to promote healthcare tourism and boost the bio-tech industry. The updated articles include number 4, 90, and 115 of the Medical Act.
The amendments allows for private hospitals to register and operate as companies, allowing them to attract investments, advertise their services, and pay dividends to shareholders. In addition, both public and private hospitals may allocate 10 percent of their hospital beds to cater for the health care tourism market. With these changes, private hospitals will have the opportunity to expand their business and increase their revenue. However, these private hospitals will not be allowed to join the National Health Insurance Program.
Health care and bio-tech are among the six major new emerging industries promoted by the Taiwanese government. The DOH has also said the Hsin-Chu Bio-tech Science Park is fully prepared for private investment. In addition, international healthcare services will focus on foreign patients with sever conditions or those in need of treatments of new medical techniques. Local patients will have to apply for prior approvals to access such services.
DOH hopes to focus on services such as transplantation, heart surgery, assisted reproductive technology, plastic surgery, and dental treatment.