The newly appointed NHIA Director, Lee Po-Chang, took office on the 20th. He is now in charge of the allocation of the NT$600 billion NHI budget. In the press conference held on the 20th, he talked about the future directions of NHI related policies, including the controversial DRGs system, which is currently suspended due to opposition from doctors in the primary care sector. Lee includes the implementation of the DRGs system in his long-term plan. He said that the DRGs system is feasible; and he will communicate with medical professionals to find the ways of implementation.
The Tw-DRGs system should have been fully implemented in March as the NHIA’s remedial measure for the waste caused by the “payment-by-service” system. Under the DRGs system, a fix payment is set for each specific condition. However, doctors from the primary care sector complained that the DRGs system will penalize doctors for treating complicated cases; and patients with severe conditions will become human balls and be kicked around hospitals. Those concerns made the NHIA to take a U-turn on this policy.
Lee Po-Chang expressed that his short-term, medium-term and long-term plans will gradually implement the graded referral system, better working conditions and working hours for health professionals, the reduction of unnecessary treatments, the promotion of organ donation, and last but not least, the revival of the DRGs system.
Lee Po-Chang expressed that the DRGs system is feasible. It helps to control the growth of health expenditure. Indeed, there are problems need to be solved; and he will communicate fully with medical professionals to find solutions. Lee pointed out that those who oppose the DRGs system have to be specific about the faults of the system or to provide improvement proposals so that both sides can build consensus.
Lee Po-Chang admitted that it is impossible to reintroduce the DRGs system in 2 or 3 months; but, he will do everything he can to hasten the implementation with a view to making the NHI sustainable. The NHI belongs to everyone; and it needs not only to be sustained but also be bettered, stressed Lee.
【2016-05-20/ Now News】