Taoyuan helps Thai migrant worker reunite with family after stroke

TAIPEI (The China Post) — As many industrial and manufacturing jobs are in Taoyuan City, migrant workers who are employees of such businesses often live and work there, making them an indispensable part of Taiwan’s labor force.

However, as migrant workers often travel to Taiwan for work alone, if they should suffer any injury or from other health problems, it may create problems for them and be quite hard for them to seek out assistance.

A 43-year-old Thai migrant worker who lived along in Taoyuan was recently hospitalized after suffering a stroke; as she was paralyzed and was unable to take care of herself in Taiwan, health authorities and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) came together to help her return home and reunite with her family.

The migrant worker surnamed Lin had an alien residence permit (ARC, 居留證) but was financially strapped. The medical expenses after her stroke combined with the travel expenses needed for her to return back to Thailand totaled nearly NT$500,000, which she wasn’t able to afford.

In a bid to help her, social workers of the hospital where she was treated and the social welfare division of the city government actively searched for resources and contacted her family back home to confirm that they wished for her to return to Thailand.

As Lin needed a special seat due to her state of paralysis, the plane ride home would also have accompanying personnel to assist her. However, it was later discovered that most of her family members back home had contracted the COVID-19 virus and had not had vaccine shots. Therefore, expenses for her treatment and choices for a care person to assist her became a big issue.

Fortunately, hospitals and NGOs have extended a helping hand, including the Ten-Chen Medical Group (天晟醫院), the social welfare division of Taoyuan City Government, and the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China (Taiwan) 中華民國紅十字會, while Legislator Chang Yu-mei’s (張育美) team also reached out to provide assistance.

With the help of many organizations, they donated around NT$200,000 for her flight back home, and the Double Bliss Welfare and Charity Foundation (財團法人天成雙德社會福利基金會) covered the entirety of Lin’s medical expenses at around NT$200,000 as well.

After the funding problem was resolved, the aid unit contacted Lin’s Thai friend in Taiwan, successfully helping her board the plane and return home for further treatment and care.

The mobilization of the people, as well as government units, helped vulnerable migrant workers in Taiwan received the help they need in a timely manner.