My 50th Birthday Present: Going to Taiwan for a Clean Bill of Health

Guest blogger, Jerry Chen, tells us about his experience with a Health Check in Taiwan.

Around my fiftieth birthday, it occurred to me that I had ignored my health for far too long. As the owner of my own business, I’d dedicated many years working overtime to make sure that orders were shipped and the bills were paid; illness and sick days were a premium that I could not afford.

However, as with most milestones in life, you tend to get a bit more reflective on priorities, and making sure I could enjoy the next fifty years in good health suddenly became a realistic concern. My blood pressure had always been on the high side, and recently I had been feeling under the weather. So it was with these motivations in mind that I decided a complete check-up was in order.

I began with our family doctor, a generalist who proceeded to refer me to a number of specialists. Phone calls with a myriad of receptionists across various hospitals ensued, and I realized that this check-up would not only be expensive, but also very time consuming. It would take a few months for me to get through every specialist, and the intermittent timing of the appointments would be a hassle given my schedule. Perhaps more frustrating, I was informed by my insurance company that many of these tests would require significant out-of-pocket expenses.

Commiserating with my friend at dinner one night, he notified me of an alternative that might be better: Taiwan offered a number of health check clinics that could complete all the examinations I required in one trip.  As it turns out, these clinics exist solely to provide health checks – thorough tests, using the most advanced technology, that update patients on their health status in just about every facet imaginable.  Taiwan happens to be a well-known leader in this field, and I had planned on visiting China for business anyway, so a one-week detour to settle all these matters certainly seemed appealing.

Fortunately for me, my friend had recently just completed his own check-up, so we scheduled an appointment at the same facility he had just visited. Over the course of two days, they conducted a battery of tests (x-rays, CT scans, and other more intrusive examinations that I will not mention here), and at the end of the trip I was presented with a professional, fully documented report, including all of my information on DVD. The service was courteous and efficient, and there was minimal waiting.

And so it was that with a clean bill of health, and peace of mind, that I boarded a flight from Taipei back home to the U.S.  I count myself very lucky not just for my health, but for the fact that I had a good friend who was able to shepherd me all the way through the process of finding an excellent clinic, a process that can be quite daunting without an experienced hand.  If you’ve got a little help finding the right place to go, I would recommend a Taiwanese health check clinic to just about anyone.

by Jerry Chen

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