【Inbound Exchange】Questions and Answers about Medical Examination Requirements
Q1: Is a medical examination mandatory for short-term students?
A: Yes. In the past, rubella and tuberculosis outbreaks originating from foreign students have occurred on campus. Therefore, in order to ensure students’ health, short-term students (foreign students who intended to stay in Taiwan for more than three months, but less than 6 months or Chinese students who intended to stay in Taiwan for more than two months, but less than 6 months) require a medical examination.
Q2: What are the standard items in the required medical examination?
A: Examination items include:
- Measles and Rubella Immunization Certificates or Proof of Positive Antibody Titers (alternative):
- Students may present childhood measles and rubella immunization record (The document is acceptable as long as the vaccines were given no earlier than 12 months of age.), or provide proof of positive measles and rubella antibody titers.
- Students may choose not to take the antibody test and proceed directly with the measles and rubella immunization or choose to receive the immunization only after the antibody test turns out to be negative.
- Students may choose to take the test in the home country in advance or within 14 days after arriving in Taiwan.
- Chest X-ray for Tuberculosis:
- In order to ensure the health and wellbeing of the students and faculty on campus, the school may require these students under the admission requirements to undergo the chest X-ray examination for tuberculosis in their home country before coming to Taiwan, or students should get tested within 14 days after arriving in Taiwan.
Q3: Is the use of the Medical Examination Form for Short-term Students mandatory?
A: The form is used for reference only. Students may choose to submit certificates of immunization (or the positive titer laboratory result) and the chest X-ray examination report to suffice the medical examination requirements.
Q4: Are the regulations for the medical examination of short-term students the same for different schools?
A: The regulations may vary from school to school. Please follow the regulations of the school you are attending.
Q5: If I have already been vaccinated against measles and rubella in my home country, will submitting only the certificate of immunization fulfill the medical examination requirement?
A: If the immunization has been completed in your home country, you may bring the certificate of immunization to Taiwan, and submit the document at the time of school registration to avoid re-taking the vaccine. (The document is acceptable as long as the vaccines were given no earlier than 12 months of age.)
Q6: If I have already received the mumps vaccine, can I still receive the measles and rubella vaccines?
- Anyone who has received the mumps vaccine or the measles, mumps, rubella (MMR) vaccine can receive the MMR vaccine repeatedly without incurring harms. However, if a person is determined by the doctor to have vaccine contradictions, he/she shall be exempt from vaccination. The common side effects of the MMR vaccine include redness, swelling, and pain at the injection site. The possibility of developing adverse reactions is extremely low.
- MMR vaccine contraindications are as follows:
- Someone who has known severe allergies to egg protein or the vaccine component shall be exempt from vaccination.
- Someone who has known severe immunodeficiency, including AIDS patients with severe immunodeficiency, individuals with congenital immunodeficiency, patients with malignant tumor such as leukemia, lymphoma etc., and patients receiving chemotherapy, immunosuppressive drug, or high-dose steroids.
Q7: My school requires under the admission requirements that I shall have the chest X-ray examination for tuberculosis in my home country. However, such examination is not locally available; can I take the tuberculin test instead?
A: If chest X-ray examination is not available in your home country, the tuberculin test alone cannot be a replacement. Please get the chest X-ray examination within 14 days after your arrival in Taiwan.
Q8: If I am only diagnosed with tuberculosis after my arrival in Taiwan, can I receive treatment in Taiwan?
- For suspected tuberculosis cases, further tests at the designated institutes arranged by the school are necessary. The list of designated institutes can be found on the Taiwan CDC’s website: www.cdc.gov.tw under Health Topics and Foreigners’ Health.
- For confirmed tuberculosis cases, with the exception of multidrug resistant cases, treatment is available at its own expense. Local health authority will provide the Directly Observed Treatment Short-Course (DOTS) service to the case to assist the patient in completing the anti-tubercular medical treatment for 6~9 months. A care personnel will be appointed to dispatch medicine and witness the patient take the drug.
- After starting the tuberculosis treatment, if multidrug resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis is detected through sputum culture, the patient is advised to receive further treatment in their home country after completing the preliminary treatment in Taiwan and once the sputum result changes to negative.
- The treatment costs of qualified confirmed tuberculosis cases can be covered by the National Health Insurance or by their other insurances. Schools should provide them with the appropriate health education, and assist them in enrolling in the DOTS program to prevent transmission.
Q9: What is the legal basis that requires short-term students to take a medical examination?
- According to Article 8 of the School Health Act, all schools shall establish a student health management system and organize student health examinations on a regular basis.
- According to Article 6 of the Enforcement Rules of School Health Act, the student health examination/management system as provisioned by Paragraph 1, Article 8 of the Act shall include the following matters (excerpts): student health examination, student health data management and application, other matters provisioned by the competent authorities at all levels, etc.
- According to Article 36 of the Communicable Diseases Control Act, when communicable diseases occur or are expected to occur, the public shall cooperate and accept the inspections, treatment, immunization or other disease control and quarantine measures conducted by the competent authorities.
- According to Point 6 of the Review Points of Chinese Education Professionals and Students Coming to Taiwan for Educational Activities (excerpts): the inviting units should arrange the medical examination for Chinese students who intend to stay in Taiwan for more than two months.