Medicine: Patient-centered medical care.
Of the four sufferings of life: birth, aging, illness, and death, illness is the most painful. During charity visits, Tzu Chi's founder, Dharma Master Cheng Yen, realized that poverty was often a result of illness in the family. Hence, she founded the Tzu Chi Free Clinic for the Poor in 1972, which began Tzu Chi's Mission of Medicine.
In 1986, the Hualien Tzu Chi General Hospital opened with the guiding principles of “safeguarding lives with love,” and a commitment to “patient-centered care.” The medical network in Taiwan now consists of 7 hospitals in Yuli, Guanshan, Dalin, Taipei, Taichung, and Douliou. Globally, there are medical clinics in various countries as well as a new hospital in Indonesia that opened its doors in 2021. The medical staff at these hospitals are supported by large teams of volunteers who together work to provide the highest quality medical services that combine the latest medical technologies with a warm human touch.
Further to establishing these hospitals, Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA), a global network of medical and non-medical volunteers also holds medical outreaches to provide medical care to vulnerable populations in rural and underprivileged areas affected by poverty and disasters.