Tue, Sep 12, 2006 - Page 2 News List

Health insurance payout raised by 4.55 percent

HEALTH FEES The Bureau of National Health Insurance will be allowed to pay NT$443 billion more to medical facilities, with more money for treating chronic diseases

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The total settlement of the national health insurance next year will be increased to NT$443 billion (US$13 billion), the National Health Insurance Medical Expenditure Negotiation Committee announced recently -- a hike of 4.55 percent from this year's amount.

The settlement is the ceiling for payments paid by the Bureau of National Health Insurance to medical institutions. The committee finalized the amount in discussions with medical personnel, taxpayers, experts and government officials last weekend, according to the committee's press release on Saturday.

According to the Executive Yuan's regulations, the settlement can be raised by a maximum of 5.10 percent each year.

Most of the settlement will go to hospitals and Western-style medical clinics, the committee said, adding that Chinese-style medical clinics and dental clinics will receive NT$18.2 billion and NT$33 billion from the settlement.

The committee's executive secretary Ko Kuei-nu (柯桂女) said in a telephone interview yesterday that the committee will ask Western medical clinics to present a national health promotion plan by the end of November and provide better health care for patients suffering from chronic diseases.

She said the project will focus on the treatment and prevention of specific illnesses, but said that she cannot specify the types of disease until the project is proposed.

The committee will also support Chinese medical institutions' plans to initiate health care projects for patients with cerebrovascular illnesses, bedsores, infant paralysis and asthma, Ko said.

A special budget of up to NT$3 billion from the settlement for hospitals will be reserved for medical expenditure of patients with rare disorders or hemophilia as requested by the committee, so as to prevent these patients from being discriminated against when receiving medical treatment, she said.

She added that the budget for rare diseases and hemophilia for next year will increase by about NT$400 million compared to the budget for this year.

Novel medical technology, treatment and medication should be continuously introduced to Taiwan within the insurance system's financial ability, the committee said.

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