Abstract Background An increasing number of short-term medical missions (STMMs) are being dispatched to provide humanitarian healthcare; however, extensive investigations on how recipient patients perceive STMMs are lacking. The current study evaluated the perceptions of patients toward medical services provided by a Taiwanese STMM in a resource-poor area of Swaziland. Methods A structured questionnaire survey was completed by patients who had received medical services from the medical mission of Taipei Medical University in Swaziland in July 2014. Results In total, 349 questionnaires were valid for the analysis. More respondents were female than male (69.6 % vs 30.4 %). The most common chief complaint was musculoskeletal problems (45.8 %), followed by respiratory symptoms (35.0 %). Most of the patients stated that their overall experience with the medical services was excellent (91.4 %). Universal patients would like to see the service provided in the future (99.7 %). Nearly 90 % of the patients were aware of how to take care of the medical problem they were diagnosed with. A majority of the patients comprehended what their medical providers said. Only a few patients did not understand what physicians said (5.2 %). Conclusion Medical services provided by the STMM were helpful in resolving patients’ problems. The data have crucial implications for evaluating overseas mobile medical aid from the viewpoint of patients.