Sun, Nov 09, 2014 - Page 1 News List

Cab driver with canceled NHI card dies

By Chang Teng-hsun, Hsieh Wen-hua and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Police suspect that a combination of exhaustion, chronic liver disease and the lack of proper medical care proved fatal for a cab driver surnamed Tang (湯), 43, who was found dead in his cab on Friday across from the Miaoli County District Court in Tungluo Township (銅鑼).

Tang’s elder brother said the cab driver had chronic lung ailments, but lacked medication because his National Health Insurance (NHI) card was inactive.

Tang had not been able to pay his NHI premiums, his brother said.

Instead, Tang bought over-the-counter treatments to handle the discomfort, he added.

District court video showed Tang’s cab parked in an alley by 9:15pm on Thursday night, police said.

There was no movement other than the driver’s seat shaking once or twice before Tang lay down or collapsed, police added.

Tungluo residents said they saw Tang’s cab in the alley by 10pm on Thursday and thought that he was trying to find customers, as his engine was running. After they found the car in the same place on Friday morning, they called police.

Paramedics found that Tang had already entered rigor mortis, police said, adding that there were no visible wounds and ruled out manslaughter.

Physician Chiu Chi-kung (邱啟恭) said that Tang may have had a range of lung problems that worsened over time, causing him to cough up blood before blocking his airway and causing asphyxiation.

Meanwhile, National Health Insurance Administration insurance affairs division head Yeh Feng-ming (葉逢明) said the government offers alternatives for people who are unable to pay their premiums, adding that such methods were often available at the help counters of city or county governments.

More than 80,000 people do not pay their premiums each month, with about 77,000 deemed unable to pay, Yeh said. Those people are not suspended from the service and still receive care, Yeh added.

However, the remaining 3,000 would face limited options, although hospitals should still attempt to treat them on the principles of valuing human lives, Yeh said, adding that the affairs of settling the bill should come later.

This story has been viewed 1687 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top