Negotiations between the Department of Health (DOH) and six major medical associations broke down yesterday after the DOH refused to increase health insurance payments to hospitals.
Hospital representatives asked the DOH to increase the annual insurance payments by 9.39 percent but the DOH said it would only raise the payments by 4.01 percent.
Wu Ming-yen (
But Wu issued a statement late last night clarifying his position.
"Hospitals will never sacrifice patients' rights simply because the negotiations broke [down]," the statement said.
"This year the annual health insurance payment the DOH paid to hospitals was NT$223.2 billion," said Wu after the negotiations.
He said hospitals could hardly survive with the payment.
"The DOH only agreed to raise the annual payment by 4.01 percent, which means the total payment will only rise to NT$241.6 billion," said Wu.
"Hospitals need at least NT$254.1 billion every year," He said.
Wu gave an example of the financial difficulties hospitals faced by pointing out that it takes NT$3.5 billion to import new drugs for hepatitis B and C every year.
"However, the Bureau of National Health Insurance only paid an annual NT$7 million for the drugs," said Wu.
Wu said hospitals could not manage to take care of hepatitis patients with so small a payment.
According to hospital representatives, Taiwan's medical costs occupy 5 percent of its annual GNP, the third lowest among the 29 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
The DOH told hospital representatives they plan to hold more negotiations
Meanwhile, Hsieh Wu-chi (謝武吉), secretary general of the Taiwan Community Hospital Association, said the payment increase proposed by the DOH could not keep up with the rise in medical costs.
Hsieh did not attend the negotiations with the DOH but his hospital in Kaohsiung shares the same financial problems.
"The medical costs for severe patients increases by NT$7 billion per year," Hsieh reported.
"If the DOH is still unwilling to increase health insurance payments for hospitals, community hospitals will probably refuse to receive cancer patients who need chemotherapy as of next year," he said.
Under the current situation, the more cancer patients a community hospital receives, the more money it loses. "Because insurance payments are not enough to cover the costs," Hsieh said.
DOING ENOUGH? The HPA budgets NT$1.3 billion to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but has no separate budget to fight teen drinking, a doctor said The government should step up alcohol education and prevention efforts, and allocate more of the budget to it, doctors said on Friday, citing the high consumption of alcohol among Taiwanese adolescents. One out of four 12-to-17-year-olds has consumed alcohol, said Yen Tsung-hai (顏宗海), director of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital’s Department of Clinical Toxicology. The Health Promotion Administration (HPA) budgets NT$1.3 billion (US$43.9 million) annually to prevent the health hazards of tobacco, but it has not allocated a separate budget for preventing teenage drinking or excessive alcohol use, Yen said. “There is no so-called ‘safe drinking level’ for minors,” because any amount consumed
The Fancy Frontier manga and anime expo held in Taipei over the weekend has sparked controversy, after a participant allegedly contravened the Act on Offenses Against Sexual Morality (妨害風化罪) by publicly exposing her private parts during a photo shoot. The two-day event opened at the Expo Dome at the Taipei Expo Park on Saturday, attracting numerous comic and anime creators, cosplayers, photographers and fans. Allegedly, a female cosplayer who was not wearing any underwear lifted up her skirt and revealed her private parts at an outdoor photography area near the venue. Event organizers said yesterday that to prevent indecent exposure, they have since
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
The National Taiwan Museum’s Railway Department Park in Taipei is to open to the public today. The park in Datong District (大同) near the North Gate (北門, Beimen) is one of the museum’s four branches. During the Japanese colonial era, the site housed the railway department of the Office of the Governor-General of Taiwan’s Bureau of Transportation. After World War II, it served as the headquarters for the Taiwan Railways Administration (TRA) for several decades. In 2007, it was listed as a national monument under the Cultural Heritage Preservation Act (文化資產保存法). At an opening ceremony yesterday, Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung