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Taiwan Cashes In On Chinese Medical Tourism



TAIPEI - The Chinese now have a new reason to visit Taiwan, and it’s not tourism or business: they are heading to Taiwan in droves for medical check-ups and cosmetic surgery.

Thirty-nine Taiwanese hospitals are now specially licensed to accept Chinese patients who come on combined medical/tourist trips. According to the China Times, more than 50,000 people came to Taiwan in the first eight months of this year for medical reasons. Forty percent of these visitors come from China.

The Joint Commission International, an international leader in health care accreditation, has already accredited 14 Taiwanese hospitals. Medical success rates are remarkably high: 100 percent for cleft palate repair, 98 percent for liver transplant (the world’s highest), and a 38 percent success rate for fertility treatment. Rare diseases such as elephantitis are also treated, the China Times reports.

More than three million Chinese each year choose to undergo cosmetic surgery, a market growing at 10 percent annually. The Chinese recently overtook the South Koreans who are also big customers for cosmetic surgery.

Until recently, Chinese people were mostly going to Korea or Japan for medical care; 100,000 a year to South Korea alone. But as a result of many disputes the market is now shifting to Taiwan where there is no language barrier.

Top travel travel agencies in Taiwan are selling trips to wealthy Chinese customers, which combine medical treatment such as checkups and cosmetic skin care with gourmet slimming meals, cultural experiences, and even agricultural visits. This is marketed as an “All Azimuts Health Experience,” says Taihai Net.

It’s not surprising that Chinese clients are flocking to Taiwan given the overcrowded nature of Chinese hospitals, their quality problems, and the fact that disputes with doctors are frequent. Last year, 10 Chinese doctors were murdered by dissatisfied patients.

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FOCUS: Israel-Palestine War

BDS And Us: Gaza's Toll Multiplies Boycotts Of Israel And Its Allies — Seinfeld Included

In Egypt and elsewhere in the region and the world, families and movements are mobilizing against companies that support Israel's war on Gaza. The power of the people lies in their control as consumers — and the list of companies and brands to boycott grows longer.

A campaign poster with the photo of a burger with blood coming out of it with text reading "You Kill" and the Burger King logo

A campaign poster to boycott Burger King in Bangkok, Malü

Matt Hunt/ZUMA
Mohammed Hamama

CAIRO — Ali Al-Din’s logic is simple and straightforward: “If you buy a can (of soda), you'll get the bullet too...”

Those bullets are the ones killing the children of Gaza every day, and the can he refuses to buy is “kanzaya” – the popular Egyptian soft drink. It is just one of a long list of products he had the habit of consuming. Ali is nine years old.

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The clarity and simplicity of this logic has pushed Ali Al-Din to boycott all the products on the lists people are circulating of companies that have supported Israel since the attacks on Gaza began in October. His mother, Heba, points out that her son took responsibility for overseeing the boycott in their home.

A few days ago, he saw a can of “Pyrosol” insecticide, but he thought it was one of the products of the “Raid” company that was on the boycott’s lists. He warned his mother that this product was on the boycott list, but she explained that the two products were different. Ali al-Din and his younger brother also abstained from eating any food from McDonald's. “They love McDonald’s very much,” his mother says. “But they refuse.”

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