Taipei, Jan. 2 (CNA) The first application for Chinese visitors seeking to come to Taiwan for medical treatment was submitted to immigration officials Monday, one day after the new initiative took effect.
The application was filed by Taipei-based Shin Kong Wu Ho-su Memorial Hospital, which is expecting to receive a 26-member group from the Chinese province of Liaoning, the National Immigration Agency (NIA) said that day.
Under a new measure announced by the government Dec. 30, Chinese people can now come to Taiwan for health checkups or cosmetic surgery.
Medical facilities qualified to provide such services can apply to the agency on behalf of the potential visitors.
It will take five days to review and approve applications, said the agency's director-general, Hsieh Li-kung.
Under the program, visitors from China can stay in Taiwan for up to 15 days, including three additional days for shopping and tourism besides medical purposes, he added.
According to the agency, the first batch of such visitors will be headed by the president of a Liaoning-based hospital.
Scheduled to arrive Feb.13, the members of the group will undergo advanced health screening programs such as positron emission tomography, and learn more about Taiwan's techniques in health checkups and cosmetic surgery.
During the six-day trip, the group is also scheduled to visit top tourist attractions around the country such as Taroko Gorge in Hualien County and Alishan National Scenic Area in Chiayi County.
Before the new initiative came into force, Chinese visitors seeking health checkups or plastic surgery in Taiwan only had access to such services when they arrived for tourism or other purposes.
The new program is set to usher in more business opportunities in the areas of health checkups and cosmetic surgery. Compared with China, Taiwan provides quality services at more modest prices, according to the agency.
(By Elaine Hou)