Taipei Beitou Health Management Hospital is the first tourist medical institution combining the functions of medical care, healthcare, accommodation, and a hot spring. By integrating various advantages, resources, and local characteristics, the hospital intends to spearhead the development of the medical tourism industry in Taipei City.
For a long time, the hospital has strived to improve the medical tourism industry in Taipei City in order to promote Taiwan’s medical tourism services to the Muslim market this year (2019), as well as to support the Executive Yuan’s New Southbound Policy and the Department of Health’s (DOH) policy on the Muslim-friendly Medical Care Environment, and the hospital has since obtained the Muslim Friendly Hospital Certificate on August 19.
According to the 2019 MasterCard-CrescentRating’s Global Muslim Travel Index (GMTI), Taiwan has emerged as the 3rd most attractive non-Muslim destination among Muslims in the world for the first time alongside the UK and Japan. Based on 2014-2018 statistics from the Ministry of Health and Welfare, on average roughly 8,000 international patients from Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) countries such as Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Middle East utilize the city’s medical services annually. Moreover, there are approximately 300,000 Muslim residents (including migrant workers and new residents) in Taiwan, of which 80,000 or so live in the Greater Taipei region. Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je believes that medical care should be provided irrespective of religion, therefore when he attended the 2019 Eid al-Fitr Celebration in Taipei and the Muslim Festival, he instructed the DOH to continue expanding the number of Muslim-friendly hospitals, so that our Muslim friends can enjoy a safer, healthier life in Taipei.
In April this year, the DOH promoted the Muslim-friendly Health Care Environment policy by consolidating private sector resources. The facility in Beitou is the second hospital to receive the Muslim Friendly Hospital Certificate (after the Taiwan Adventist Hospital). Taipei Beitou Health Management Hospital is an international tourist medical institution which has endeavored and succeeded in obtaining Muslim-friendly hospital certification, thereby injecting more resources to Taipei City’s Muslim-friendly medical care environment.
Taipei Beitou Health Management Hospital’s Health Management Center on fifth floor, Endoscopy Center and Aesthetic Medical Center on fourth floor, as well as the Radiology Center on second floor, all provide bidet spray facilities. In addition, there is an independent food preparation area on the fifth floor offering Halal-certified meals designed for health checkup purposes, as well as separate Muslim dining rooms for men and women. On the second floor, there are separate Muslim prayer rooms for men and women equipped with prayer blankets, Mecca marker and prayer time table for Taipei City, so that they can pray with peace of mind even during a health checkup. Female medical staff and physicians will be arranged for female patients during the health checkup.
The DOH has invited Taipei Beitou Health Management Hospital’s Vice Superintendent Wei Tsung-wen to share the institution’s experiences and thoughts on obtaining the certificate in order to promote the Muslim-friendly medical care policy and market Taipei’s tourism and international medical care industry. The aim is to allow different hospitals in Taipei City to offer more diversified and inclusive medical care services for patients irrespective of their religion, cultural background, and ethnicity. Hopefully, Muslims worldwide will be able to appreciate the hospitality of Taipei City’s medical tourism industry towards Islamic culture.
In making Taipei City an essential destination for Muslims, the Department of Information and Tourism has proactively tapped into the Muslim travel markets. Besides organizing tourism promotional activities in Indonesia and Malaysia, the agency also invited local Internet celebrities, media, and travel agents to embark on a media tour to Taipei in order to market the city’s tourism. This year, the Malaysian media tour has included Taipei Beitou Health Management Hospital into its itinerary to support the department’s Muslim-friendly Health Care Environment Policy, where participants visited Muslim-friendly facilities and experienced the health checkup service.