TIMA is an organized global service network of over 10,000 licensed doctors and nurses who serve as volunteers. They always use the utmost care and attention to treat the poor and the sick, providing total medical care, including surgeries. During disasters, TIMA volunteers cooperate with the Tzu Chi Disaster Relief Committee by going to the disaster area to help treat the sick and wounded victims.
Tzu Chi was founded in 1966, focusing mainly on charitable volunteer work. Through 10 years of experience in helping the needy and the sick, Master Cheng Yen realized that sickness often leads to poverty and that dong charity only provides temporary solutions to the problems. Master realized that curing people’s diseases can prevent poverty. So in 1972, with the support of some doctors and medical professionals from Hualien Provincial Hospital, Tzu Chi started holding twice-weekly free medical missions for the poor in the area. The doctors even went on regular home visits to far-flung areas where medical services were not available.
To contribute to Tzu Chi’s mission of medicine by reaching more needy people, a group of medical professionals from various hospitals committed themselves and, in 1996, established the “Tzu Chi Medical Association” with the vision of “Curing Sickness, Healing People, Healing Hearts.” In 1998, it expanded to “Tzu Chi International Medical Association” or TIMA, which was to become a venue for compassionate medical professionals who want to give back to society and reach out to every corner where medical help is needed.
TIMA’s uniqueness is that not only do they have a group of well trained medical professionals but that most of the volunteers highly understand the aim and scope of the project. The uniqueness enables the medical treatment a broader range of services, including hospitals, dialysis centers, free medical treatment centers, and other medical functions. Members from all over the world serve as volunteers. No matter what nationality and what their beliefs are, they offer their services wherever they live, and if any international calamity should occur, volunteers from countries near or far would also volunteer their help and support.
TIMA is a union of Tzu Chi Charitable Works. Hoping to thoroughly knit a safety net of love to protect people and to free them from suffering and obtain happiness, not only does TIMA provide medical needs, but they also treat the pain caused by poverty, help the lonely by consoling and accompanying them, and even provide financial support. If the TIMA operation from each country matures, there will be free medical treatment or free hospital establishments in each of their respective location. Compound this with the TIMA from other parts of the globe, and this would become a worldwide medical network, making it a globally cooperative effort to help and save those in need.
TIMA’s vision is to continue to motivate the great healers (doctors) and angels in white (nurses) to work for people with pain and sickness in mind. They will always prioritize the welfare of the sick by personally understanding the pain and suffering so that they can heal both the mind and the body, setting a new level of moral principles for medical professionals around the world.
Tzu Chi Hospital
The founder of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, Master Cheng Yen, determined that with “love, compassion, joy, and equanimity”, she would help those who suffer. Starting from Hualien Taiwan, Master carried out the Tzu Chi mission to help all beings. The mission developed as a clear stream flowed throughout the world.
Tzu Chi Mission in Medicine started from a small clinic for the poor in 1972; then, one by one, Tzu Chi hospital was built, starting from Tzu Chi Hospital in Hualien, Yuli, Guanshan, Dalin, Taipei, and Taizhong.
Tzu Chi hospitals were built with the principle of saving life, safeguarding health, and upholding the spirit of love with high-tech and high-touch, humanized, and international-standard health services.
By adhering to the philosophy and principle above, the Indonesian Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation plans to build Tzu Chi Hospital in Indonesia.
Tzu Chi Hospital in Indonesia is a hospital with a capacity of 520 beds, and the opening ceremony will be held on 15 November 2020. Besides being equipped with the most advanced medical equipment, all of this equipment will be integrated with the Hospital Information System (HIS) to improve patient safety and their families and can provide holistic service guarantees. With the presence of Tzu Chi Hospital, it hopes that Indonesian people who need an advanced level of medical care do not need to go abroad for treatment.