Pharmaceutical News
NHI graded healthcare system and two-way referral system to be reviewed after six months of implementation

Reported by Lin Yi-Ting

In order to actively promote the graded healthcare system and the two-way referral system, the NHIA introduced “six major strategies and 24 corresponding measures” this year.  Tsai Shu-Ling, the Deputy General Director of the NHIA, expressed that the NHIA will collect and review the comments from the general public and experts after six months of implementation.  The NHIA will apply a rolling review model to modify the systems in order to make them perfect.


Raising questions about the new systems

The new NHI co-payment system started from the 15th of April this year.  It aims to direct patients to the referral system; however, the public are still not very sure about how to choose a good GP in the neighbourhood, and worry about delays in treatments during the referral process.  According Chen Yi-Chun, the CEO of V-square (a watchdog group), the public’s number one question concerning the referral system is about choosing a good GP, followed by concerns over the treatment quality provided by health clinics, and how willingly GPs are to refer patients.


Place trust in GPs

Dr Huang Chi-Chia, a GP, expressed that all doctors have received full training in medical schools.  Furthermore, most GPs have experiences in big hospitals before working in health clinics.   It’s illogical to question GPs’ treatment quality.  Health clinics provide easy access to medical treatments, while medical centres concentrate on teaching and researches.  The public should place their trust in GPs.


Using Apps to enhance the service

Dr Zeng Chia-Lin form the NTUH suggested that the NHIA should expand the functions of its current NHI App by providing enquiry services for the public.  The public should be able to use the App to register for treatment scheme or vaccination, or search for good doctors in their neighbourhood.


Liu Shu-Chung, the President of the Taiwan Healthcare Reform Foundation, expressed that the NHIA should set up criteria for assessing the effect of these systems on the changes of the public’s behaviour.  


Accessing medical treatments according to needs

Tsai Shu-Ling also expressed that the purpose of the graded healthcare system is to encourage the public to visit hospitals appropriate for their medical needs.  Patients are advised to visit health clinics first.  Their GPs will refer them to the appropriate medical departments in big hospitals if necessary.


【20017-04-20 / Healthnet. com】