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Taiwan's medical centers treating too many non-serious diseases: report

Taiwan's medical centers treating too many non-serious diseases: report

Taipei, Sept. 17 (CNA) The 19 medical centers in Taiwan have been treating a high percentage of non-serious diseases and large numbers of outpatients, who should go instead to regional hospitals or clinics for conditions such as colds and eczema, according to a report released Thursday by the Taiwan Healthcare Reform Foundation (THRF). The National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) pays the 19 medical centers in Taiwan approximately NT$900 million (US$27.76 million) per year in reimbursement fees for insured outpatients, THRF Deputy CEO Chu Hsien-kwang (???) said at a press briefing. If patients who do not have a serious illness go instead to regional or district hospitals, or even clinics, it will ease the burden on the medical centers and save the medical resources for seriously ill patients, he added. Upper respiratory tract infections, high blood pressure, fatigue syndrome, stomach problems, and skin diseases are defined by the THRF as non-serious illnesses. NHIA statistics show, for example, that some 12 million outpatient cases of upper respiratory tract infection were treated at the country's 500 regional and district hospitals and private clinics last year, while 200,000 such cases were treated at the 19 medical centers, according to NHIA official Pang I-ming (???). Among the 200,000 cases treated at the medical centers, 36 percent were children under the age of six, Pang said, adding the high percentage was probably due to the fact that children are more prone to develop complications. The THRF report indicated that Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital (??), MacKay Memorial Hospital (??), and Taipei Municipal Wanfang Hospital (??) were among the medical centers in the capital city that had a high percentage of outpatients with non-serious illnesses last year. Commenting the report, a spokesman for Shin Kong Hospital said the hospital has a high percentage of outpatients because its outpatient services include treatments such as chemotherapy and cataract removal. Convenience is also a factor, he said, pointing out that both Shin Kong and MacKay are easily accessible by public transportation. (By W. T. Chen and Lillian Lin)


Updated : 2021-09-19 14:02 GMT+08:00