Rock trap vic­tim back home, fac­ing huge med­i­cal costs

The China Post - - LOCAL -

A Tai­wanese sur­vivor of 27 hours trapped in a crevice on Uluru in Aus­tralia re­turned to his home­town of Kaoh­si­ung Mon­day, where he is faced with fol­low-up med­i­cal treat­ment and daunt­ing med­i­cal costs his mother says he can­not af­ford.

Twenty- seven- year- old Yang Cheng-hsiao was ad­mit­ted to Kaoh­si­ung Chang Gung Me­mo­rial Hos­pi­tal af­ter land­ing in the South­ern Tai­wan port city.

Suf­fer­ing from mul­ti­ple bone frac­tures to his face, chest, ribs, spine and limbs, Yang ap­peared frail and weak, ly­ing on a stretcher.

His f am­ily has paid off NT$ 300,000 ( US$ 9,760)- worth of med­i­cal treat­ment bills at Alice Springs Hos­pi­tal in cen­tral Aus­tralia, but still faces around NT$2 mil­lion­worth of res­cue and aerial trans­port charges, Yang’s mother said.

In ad­di­tion, her son still re­quires fol­low-up med­i­cal treat­ment, she lamented, adding that the fam­ily can­not af­ford the med­i­cal costs with­out help.

Yang’s mother called for as­sis­tance from so­cial char­i­ties. “We will pay back in the fu­ture when we are ca­pa­ble of do­ing so,” she said in an in­ter­view with lo­cal media re­porters in the com­pany of Kaoh­si­ung So­cial Af­fairs Bureau of­fi­cials and Formosa SOS physi­cian Lu Li-hua.

Formosa SOS is an emer­gency res­cue team or­ga­nized by Tung’s Taichung Metro­Har­bor Hos­pi­tal to of­fer in­ter­na­tional trans­port ser­vices.

Ex­pe­ri­enced in in­ter­na­tional res­cue oper­a­tions, Lu, also the chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Tung’s hos­pi­tal’s emer­gency med­i­cal treat­ment depart­ment, urged Tai­wanese young peo­ple on work­ing va­ca­tions over­seas to se­cure proper in­sur­ance be­fore leav­ing home.

He sug­gested that young trav­el­ers find in­sur­ance com­pa­nies to en­sure they can re­ceive enough re­im­burse­ment for med­i­cal care ex­penses should an ac­ci­dent oc­cur.

What makes the Yang fam­ily’s predica­ment even more dif­fi­cult is that Yang with­drew from Tai­wan’s na­tional health in­sur­ance sys­tem be­cause he failed to pay the monthly pre­mium dur­ing the pe­riod of his stay in Aus­tralia, ac­cord­ing to Lu.

Even though Yang has re­sumed pay­ment, he won’t be able to re­ceive the re­im­burse­ment im­me­di­ately for his up­com­ing med­i­cal treat­ment costs at Chang Gung Hos­pi­tal, Lu said.

Yang, who was on a work­ing hol­i­day in Aus­tralia, fell 20 me­ters into a crevice on Uluru — also known as Ay­ers Rock — in the North­ern Terri- tory on June 11 af­ter stray­ing off the nor­mal route.

He was res­cued the next day in what po­lice de­scribed as a slow and dif­fi­cult process in­volv­ing a he­li­copter and an ab­seil­ing op­er­a­tion, ac­cord­ing to a for­eign news re­port.


Med­i­cal crew at­tend to Yang Cheng-hsiao, a Tai­wanese man who sur­vived af­ter be­ing trapped for 27 hours in a crevice on Uluru, North­ern Ter­ri­tory, Aus­tralia, on­board a char­ter flight from Aus­tralia to Kaoh­si­ung, yesterday.

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