First medical tourism group from China visits Taiwan
Central News Agency
2009-06-22 02:21 PM
Taipei, June 22 (CNA) The first Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan for medical purposes checked into four medical centers around the country Monday for physical examinations.

Five of the 30 Chinese tourists in the group from Guangzhou received health checks at Cathay General Hospital in Taipei City, while the others had physical examinations done at Shin Kong Wu Ho Su Memorial Hospital in Taipei, Changhua Christian Hospital in central Taiwan and Kaohsiung Medical University Chung Ho Memorial Hospital in the south.

The health checks were carried out with the use of high-tech diagnostic procedures such as position emission tomography (PET) , magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computerized tomography (CT) , which can detect cancers as well as brain and heart problems.

A thirty-year-old woman surnamed Cao said she joined the medical tourism group with her husband, a professional athlete, because she had learned that health care standards in Taiwan were higher than on the Chinese mainland.

The reports have proved true, she said, adding that she was impressed with the examinations.

"The medical facilities are cutting-edge and the medical personnel are kind," she said.

The tourists, who arrived in Taiwan Sunday, were the first group from China to visit Taiwan for medical tourism since the government gave permission last July for significantly larger numbers of Chinese tourists to visit Taiwan.

They were also the first Chinese tourists since then to visit Taiwan for the three-fold purpose of medical care, spa treatment, and sightseeing, according to Zhang Yen, one of the visitors who owns an international trading company that specializes in the export of jeans.

Zhang and several others in the group booked into an upscale spa resort in Taipei's Xinyi District within hours of their arrival in Taiwan Sunday.

Zhang said she very much enjoyed the treatment at the resort, which she said offered a completely different experience from those in Japan or Thailand.

A woman surnamed Tan, who works in Guangzhou's financial service sector, said Taiwan's spas are on a par with Japan's, and come at a lower price.

"They're highly competitive, " she said."I would visit Taipei more frequently for the joy of the spa treatments if there were more direct flights for Guangzhou to Taipei," she said.

The group's travel route was from Guangzhou to Hong Kong by highway bus and then to Taiwan by plane, she noted.

The visitors also toured the bustling Hsimending business district in Taipei City's western suburb Sunday afternoon, where they had rice noodles with duck, cold pot-stewed duck tongues, and other local delicacies.

(By Deborah Kuo)

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