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International Healthcare in Taiwan

 

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Healthcare in Taiwan

Taiwan’s Department of Health runs the public healthcare program here. The economic progress in the country has transformed the healthcare industry for a lot better, and the common illnesses of concern in Taiwan are heart diseases and obesities.  Data released in 2002 revealed that there are some 1.6 physicians and 5.9 hospital beds to every 1,000 Taiwan residents . 

As part of the healthcare reform initiative, the government formed the National Health Insurance (NHI) in 1995. The outcome is that NHI quickly launched a compulsory national insurance program which is still in force today. Currently it remains relevant and manages the central insurance pool created during its early stage.  The idea behind the centralized pool was to offset the surging medical bills during that time with sufficient fund.  Its underlying objective has always been to ensure all citizens can gain free access to healthcare. The scheme was a massive success by 2005, it is reported that almost 99% of Taiwanese people were in this national insurance program.  The sources of this central pool of funds come from both government and employees (who took a deduction on their payroll in order to contribute towards this fund). The NHI did not get it right the first time round. After it was launched, NHI’s original intention was to aim for a free-service program where the entire medical bills go back to the government. Soon after, it was found out that the original system was abused by unscrupulous private healthcare providers; when inflated bills came streaming to the government.  NHI tweaked the system and the result was the current scheme was born in 2002 when NHI concluded that a global fund which takes care of individual medical bills is a more feasible approach.

Taiwan and Healthcare quality

 Overall, residents in Taiwan can claim that they have a fairly good healthcare system in place but perhaps it is only human nature to want things to become better. Indeed, the scheme proposed by NHI has been proven to be functional and it has enjoyed tremendous success (as demonstrated by the coverage provided to 99% of the population). On the flip side, the system is no more than a loss-making venture as the central pool is still relatively under-funded to be able to settle all outstanding medical charges. An additional source of fund is required and commercial banks are the convenient choice for loans to fill the gap until the fund become self-sufficient. 

 The amount of insurance premium is a matter for the Taiwanese parliament to decide. But the prospect to raise the premium is a dangerous one for the law makers, especially during election year lest they will stand to lose votes. For a country that prides itself as top notch drugs manufacturing base for a number of international pharmaceutical brands, it is surprising to note that Taiwan has often been slow to adopt new technology and management approach to their healthcare industry. Its current ratio of physicians to population is considered off the mark when compared to industrialized nations, especially the western countries, but the government is taking steps to improve the ratio by way of injecting more medical professionals into the industry.  Due to the physician shortage, the consultation sessions in the country are often be kept short, lasting between two to five minutes per session.  Some experts also suggested more comprehensive measuring systems could help to provide better understanding of clinical performance, patient outcomes and adverse events.

Choosing a suitable Health Insurance in Taiwan

If you are looking for a suitable health insurance in Taiwan our advisor Team can help you the most appropriate medical plan for yourself or your family. We have an extensive experience of Healthcare in Asia and we will select the best plan for your needs.


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