There are a couple of things that come to mind immediately when you are in Taiwan, The kindness and generosity of the Taiwanese people, and the efficiency and expediency when it comes to every service related job.
This evening Sintty took me to see a dermatologist for a couple of skin anomalies on my left forearm and I got to see firsthand our Taiwan National Health Plan at work. The dermatologist is located 2 blocks behind our apartment. We had passed by this medical office many times before and we always noticed it was busy and full of people in the front waiting room as well as people lingering just outside the office glass door. I have a couple of skin anomalies on my left forearm that flares up and itches from time to time. It started over this early summer and it had come and gone periodically since I returned to Taiwan. At first I thought they were heat rashes but they never really g away. I had been using a topical ointment called mometasone furoate ointment that I got back in NYC. This ointment is great for many general skin rashes and it does curb the itching on the 2 anomalies on my forearm but it never completely gets rid of the small red skin anomalies. The heat and humidity in Taiwan has made the itching occur more frequently.
We decided to go during dinner time around 6pm. The first thing I noticed before walking into the dermatologist office is the Taiwan National Health Plan logo emblazoned on the front door. It is first come first serve and there is a card holder rack at the front desk with numbers in the
card slots from 1 thru 12 for you to place your National Heath Plan ID Card in the order you arrive. I placed my card in slot number 4 so I assumed there were 3 people in front of me.
As I sat down in the front waiting room it started to fill up pretty quickly with more people entering after me. I counted at least 10-12 more people walk in. After about 15 minutes my name was called and I was asked to pay $150 NTD which is about $5 . This is the fee to see the dermatologist as well as whatever medicine is prescribed. All basic coverage and all for $5 US dollars!!! Because Sintty is a Taiwanese citizen and our U.S. marriage certificate was certified (issued a Taiwan marriage certificate) when we relocated here last October, I became eligible under Sintty’s Taiwan National Health Plan coverage. Our premiums are $25 U.S. a month per person for basic coverage with some supplementary coverage for certain hospitalized specializations.
After paying the fee, I was also told there were 7 people in front of me as there was another card holder rack that the assistant was processing into her computer. I told myself this could be awhile. We then sat down and debated whether to go outside and take a walk around. We decided to sit it out. It turns out is wasn’t long waiting at all. We quickly noticed patients leaving after seeing the dermatologist in the back examination rooms and return to the front waiting room. Their names were called shortly after to come to the front desk and they were dispensed their medicine with the assistant telling them their dosage instructions and then off on their merry way. This was in all inclusive medical facility and pharmacy!
My name was called no longer than 5 minutes later and Sintty and I walked into a back examination room, the Dermatologist was a lady who examined my forearm and interviewed me with the help of Sintty to describe the conditions and length of time I have had the 2 skin anomalies. The dermatologist asked me if the skin anomalies disappear and reappear, I said yes in that the red anomalies kind of flares up and the itching stops after using the topical ointment but the skin anomalies never really go away. The Dermatologist then described how the heat/humidity conditions in Taiwan can antagonize and awake dormant skin anomalies. Sort of a perfect storm for flares ups. At this time she is treating it as a form of eczema. She recorded everything we told her and she wrote additional notes in her computer and also prescribed medicine and to come back in 3 days. The Dermatologist was attentive, friendly and answered all our questions. We walked out of the examination room and waited a few more minutes at the front desk while they dispensed my medicine and dosage instructions . I received 2 pills of Taiwan generic names of Setizen and Prinate to take daily for 9 days as well as Taiwan generic name Clobetasol topical cream and Taiwan generic name Besong Solution topical liquid ointment. The entire visit took 45 minutes. We’ll see if the meds helps rid of the skin anomalies.