Reported by Lin Hui-Cin from Taipei
The NHIA is planning to impose a NT$60 price hike in the co-payment on patients visiting the outpatient clinic in medical centers without a referral. Patients who use the A&E service and whose conditions are classified as grade 3-5 after diagnosis will pay NT$100 more for co-payment. However, the fee payer representatives in the NHI Board are not impressed with this plan. They don’t think a price hike can effectively reinforce the implementation of graded healthcare service. Yet, if the MOHW is determined to carry out the plan, there is nothing the NHI Board can do.
Teng Xi-Hua, one of the fee payer representatives in the NHI Board, pointed out that none of the previous governments took the implementation of graded healthcare service seriously. The current government moves in the right direction; however, huge challenges are on the horizon.
Teng Xi-Hua stressed that all fee payer representatives oppose the idea of using price hikes as a measure for implementing the graded healthcare service. They argue that this measure is ineffective, especially for the A&E service. The classification of conditions in the A&E ward is just to sort out the priority in treatments. Minor health conditions could be a sign of something more serious; and such patients are rightly to use A&E service. Teng predicted that it will cause some controversies in the A&E ward. Teng also pointed out the contradiction between the DRGs system and the graded healthcare service.
Teng Xi-Hua expressed that the NHIA only revealed its policies and directions, but failed to provide any action plan. The NHIA’s vision is great, but how do we achieve them? The first action that the NHIA proposed is to impose a price hike in co-payment which is not very relevant to the graded healthcare services, said Teng.
Yet, she conceded that the NHI Board’s opposition is futile, if the MOHW is determined to carry out the price hike. This is an important issue concerning everyone in the society. The MOHW needs to formulate corresponding measures to help implement the graded healthcare service in full.
Lee Po-Chang, the Director General of the NHIA, expressed that the NHIA will collate the opinions from the stakeholders. Six major polices and their corresponding plans are already in place. The MOHW and the NHIA have confidence in them and will put them into practice next year.
【2016-11-18/ Liberty Times】