Taiwan’s Foreign Police: Protecting Expats Everyday

Are you an expat in Taiwan who is in trouble? Has an employer, doctor, or someone wronged you in any way? Perhaps they are playing the “language barrier card” in order to take advantage of you. Well if this is you, then I have good news: There is such a thing as the Foreign Police, and they are here to help you. 

The Story:

A couple of months ago, I went to the doctor and left with an unwanted second-degree burn.  I can’t really go into further details about it because I signed an agreement saying I would not share any of the specifics in our settlement. Although the story sounds short and sweet, the process was far from uncomplicated. The doctor was actually a huge asshole at first (well actually he is still an asshole), but his tune changed after I called the Foreign Police.

After the burn I was pretty upset, but I didn’t go back to the doctor’s office until a week later, as second degree burns sneak up on you. First the skin burns and blisters, then the skin calms, and then it tricks you into thinking it went away. But oh no. It’s just then that it pulls a ninja move and sneaks back up on you exactly when you naively thought it had gone for good. The fun part then begins shortly after when the skin peels off, leaving you in a lot of pain.

When I went back to the doctor, he took a quick peek, told me I was fine, and waved me out the door. When I protested, he decided to turn off his English switch, and pretended not to understand me. Defeated, I sadly cycled home.

It wasn’t until a week later that my friend, who has been an expat in Taiwan for 7 years, informed me of the Foreign Police. Her boyfriend was nice enough to call and arrange for them to pay the doctor a visit. But first the Foreign Police (I haven’t met them, but I’m picturing some dudes dressed up like The Avengers) advised me to visit the hospital to get a check up which would serve as proof of my burn. And this I did.

The next day my friend and I went into the doctor’s office, and as usual, he was his lovely self. He refused to negotiate with me (claiming again that  he didn’t speak English) but my friend speaks Chinese so he had no escape plan. My friend notified him that we had called the Foreign Police, and this is when the Doc started to look nervous. I then handed him my evaluation from the hospital, and guess what? He started to speak English again! What a fast learner. He said that he didn’t want the Foreign Police or any lawyers involved, and after 30 minutes of deliberation he drew up a settlement that we both could agree on. All in all he gave me about $23,000NT (US$765), and his clinic treated my burn.

Moral of the story:

Don’t f*ck with the Foreign Police.

How to contact the Foreign Police:


Have you had any experience with the Foreign Police? Do you have an unpleasant doctor story like mine, and how was it resolved? If you are able, please name the doctor so other expats know not to go. 


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