Health care in Hualien is relatively developed compared to other cities in Taiwan. In fact, medicine and the development of public health in Hualien dates backs to the actual establishment of the Office of Hualien Harbor in 1909 during the Qing Dynasty of Emperor Xuantong. Since then, Hualien has proved to have a reliable public health administration agency that continues to help those in need.
Today, there are two hospitals that continue to provide quality medical care to locals. These two hospitals are also very much recommended to tourists who are in need of immediate health care. The Hualien Tzu Chi Medical Center along Chung Yang Road is one while the other is the Mennonite Christian Hospital found along Min-Chuan Road.
The Buddhist Tzu Chi General Hospital was opened in August of 1986 to cater to the growing demand of patients in the Hualien region. In 2002, the same hospital was accredited to become a medical center by the Taiwan Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation. It was then the first ever hospital in Hualien to be promoted to a medical center. That same year, the hospital was given an ISO certification and was officially named the Hualien Tzu Chi Medical Center.
Today, the medical center has nearly 1,000 beds and more than 300 medical professionals. The hospital is committed to providing a holistic form of medicine to its patients, which means that interdisciplinary methods of diagnosis and treatment are used with most of the hospital’s patients. Today, because of the hospital’s enhanced medical treatment and eligible hospital staff, the Tzu Chi Hospital has become an institution in the region to which severely ill patients are mostly transferred.
In 1993, with the aim of helping more people in need of medical care, a Stem Cell Center was established by the Hualien Tzu Chi Medical Center. The stem cell center is a registry for bone marrow with the goal of saving patients with blood sicknesses and diseases. Nearly 280,000 donors registered at the center, and that number has only continued to increase throughout the years. Through its operation, the center has helped more than 1,000 patients.
Another reliable hospital in the Hualien region is the Mennonite Christian Hospital which is bordered by the Central Mountain Range to its west and the Pacific Ocean to its east. This hospital is known to be one of the few teaching hospitals in the region with more than 750 medical professionals and well-equipped staff members ready to educate not only the next generation of medical practitioners but also the community of Hualien.
Compared to the Tzu Chi Medical Center, the Mennonite Hospital has only 450 beds but its quality of medical care can be compared to that in the capital city of Taiwan. MCH, which is what the locals call it, has departments in dentistry, family practice, general surgery, internal medicine, neurology, obstetrics/gynecology, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pediatrics, psychiatry, rehabilitation and urology. Practically every significant aspect of medicine is touched by both hospitals in the city in the pursuit of providing quality care and services in terms of health in Hualien.