TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taichung city councilors questioned the system that allowed one woman to call ambulances 206 times between January and October without incurring any cost on Monday (Nov. 6).
According to statistics presented by Taichung City Councilors Lin Chi-Feng (林祈烽) and Shr Jr-chang (施志昌), the person who called ambulances the second most in the same period did so 162 times. Lin said that he believed that some were avoiding ambulance fees because they were issued with medical certificates that exempt them from paying.
Local fire department head Sun Fu-yu (孫福佑) confirmed that some had called multiple ambulances for transport to the hospital in a single day, and most were older people. He told the councilors that a review will be conducted into charging mechanisms.
Sun said the older callers often had chronic diseases and in some cases symptoms of dementia. He said that among those calling multiple times per day, one had already been moved to an elder care center.
According to Taichung’s ambulance fee standards, if a trip is less than five kilometers, between NT$300 and NT$600 will be charged. Trips over that also incur a per kilometer fee of between NT$15 to NT$25. Ambulance trips in Taipei cost a flat rate of NT$1,800, with some exceptions.
Councilors Lin Chi-Feng (林祈烽) and Shr Jr-chang (施志昌) speak at the Taichung City Council on Monday. (CNA photo)