You’ve probably heard of this story before: A Filipino patient is diagnosed with an illness that needs urgent advanced medical treatment. She consults with top medical experts, yet no one could provide the immediate care she needs because the necessary technology has yet to arrive in the country.
She is advised to seek treatment abroad, most likely in the United States or Europe where more modern technologies are available, but due to time constraints in raising funds for her trip—not to mention the physical toll that long haul travel could impose on her already delicate health condition—she is left with no other choice but to settle with her limited options.
This is the sad state that many Filipino patients face today, but thankfully, we can always find a helping hand from our friends in Taiwan.
In recent years, Taiwan and the Philippines have formed closer working ties in the medical sector including personnel training, academic exchange, and industrial cooperation. In keeping with this partnership, the Taiwan Trade Center Manila (TAITRA) organized the 2019 Taiwan Medical Technology Seminar, held on September 10, 2019, at the Centennial Hall of The Manila Hotel.
With the theme “Bringing You a Total Solution in Healthcare,” the seminar highlights the increasing need for high quality human-centric medical care in developing societies like the Philippines and Taiwan’s desire to share its know-how with the rest of Southeast Asia.
It brought together top biotech innovators from the best and most advanced hospitals in Taiwan to share about their latest innovations to nearly a hundred medical practitioners and professionals from around the Philippines. Among the speakers were from the:
Taipei Mackay Memorial Hospital, which showcased its state-of-the-art Treatment for Complex Congenital Heart Diseases. Its specialized Children’s Hospital is equipped with 200 beds, 300 doctors, and technologies such as the Computer Topography 3D Echo that can provide immediate 24/7 assessment and care for patients. It is also a pioneer in the holistic “from womb to home” approach that covers prenatal consultations and examinations to preoperative, operative, and post-operative stages of treatment.
The Kaohsiung Municipal Siaogang Hospital, located in Southern Taiwan, also presented its various specialties, particularly its specialized HIFU Procedure, Nursing Training, and Cancer Screening. The hospital is easily accessible via direct flights from Manila or Cebu to Kaohsiung, and only a 10-minute drive away from the airport, making it a convenient destination for Filipino patients.
ACT Genomics Co. Ltd. also showcased its innovative use of Precision Medicine based on genetic technology to create tailored healthcare treatment for maximum efficacy. Through its Comprehensive Genomic Profiling procedure, cancer patients are given more options for treatments as chemotherapy is not always the most effective and cost-efficient solution. This helps patients save time and money, and reduce the burden of a painful experience in the long-run.
The Kaohsiung Medical University Hospital featured its International Medical Services and Specialist Training Programs that focus on comprehensive surgical treatments like plastic surgery and breast surgery for cancer patients, plastic surgery and blepharoptosis, robotic surgery and laparoscopic radiation prostatectomy for prostate cancer patients, laser acupuncture, and a non-invasive myoma ablation procedure that is much quicker and less painful.
E-Da Hospital also gave new insights on Reconstructive Microsurgery, where patients of various needs including trauma, tumors, congenital diseases, burns, and cancer can have access to the latest treatments that specialize in repairing form and restoring function of affected body parts.
The Taipei Municipal Wanfang Hospital introduced its Multi-bipolar RF (radiation frequency) Ablation for Hepatic Tumors, which uses a minimal invasive, no-touch technique that only uses targeted electrode needles in lieu of surgery.
The Taoyuan General Hospital also unveiled the Taiwan Health Care Information System (TaiwanHIS), which enhances patient safety, healthcare quality, and effective cost management through a digitally interconnected system that includes the government, academe, hospitals, and partner institutions, patients and doctors.
Lastly, the Taipei Computer Association presented its International Smart Healthcare Forum, which is part of the Smart City Summit & Expo that highlights the latest medical technologies of Taiwan.
Also featuring welcoming remarks by Mr. Wen Chung-Chang of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) and Department of Health (DOH) Director Dr. Enrique “Eric” Tayag, the 2019 Taiwan Medical Technology Seminar aims to encourage medical practitioners in the Philippines to look to partners and counterparts in Taiwan in providing better healthcare for Filipino patients.
Being the fourth country in the world to implement the hospital evaluation system after the U.S., Canada, and Australia, Taiwan leads in world-class medical services including sound senior care, advanced biotechnology, and smart medical systems and equipment. Add to that the competitive pricing—typically one-fifth of similar treatments in other parts of the world—made possible by the local development of medical technology.
For a fraction of the cost of treatments in the U.S. and Europe, and only a two-hour flight time from Manila, Filipino doctors and patients are assured of a more viable, accessible, and practical option in seeking immediate advanced medical treatments in Taiwan.
To learn more about the latest medical technologies from Taiwan, contact the Taiwan Trade Center Manila hotline at (02) 551-7281/551-7349/551-7339 or visit the TAITRA Manila website at http://www.taiwanexcellence.org/ph. Like and follow the TAITRA Manila Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/TaiwanExcellence.PH) for more updates.