Pharmaceutical News
Michael Porter prescribes 5 treatments for NHI

Michael E. Porter gave a speech on “The Urgency of Health Revolution” on the 23rd.  In his speech, he praised the NHI system in Taiwan, but warned that the persistent cost-reduction approach will lead to a vicious circle.


His speech attracted the attendance of many heavyweights in the healthcare industry.  Porter prescribed Taiwan five treatments for creating the value of healthcare services.  The five treatments are: assessing treatment results, organizing healthcare institutes, evaluating treatment cost, strengthening the DRGs system and integrating healthcare IT systems.


The NHI budget increased from NT$200 billion initially to NT$600 billion this year.  However, health workers are complaining about the workload and patients are complaining about the endless waiting in A&E wards.  Porter reckoned that high costs and unstable quality is a common problem not only in Taiwan but also all over the world.


The NHI Global Budget system is a vicious circle as squeezing cost will lower the healthcare quality.  That’s why Porter strongly supports the DRGs system. 


Porter also pointed out that there are too many general hospitals in Taiwan.  Each hospital should develop its expertise, said Porter.


Tsai Shu-Ling, the Chief Secretary of the NHIA, expressed that the NHIA has been promoting the patient-centered care for three years, starting from the diabetes clinics and “triple-high” (i.e. high cholesterol, high blood pressure and high blood sugar) clinics.  Taiwan is moving towards the direction suggested by Porter.


However, the DRGs system has aroused opposition in Taiwan.  The NHIA is to introduce the third stage DRGs system next year.  The public’s response to it will be an indicator of the feasibility of Porter’s suggestions.


【2014-10-25 / United Daily News】