Wed, Jun 28, 2017 - Page 3 News List

PAC program to include broader range of illnesses

SWIFT ACTION:Intensive rehabilitation shortly after an acute injury helps patient recovery, so NT$150m is to be allocated to expand the program, an official said

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

The National Health Insurance Administration yesterday announced that the Post-Acute Care (PAC) program is to be expanded next month to include traumatic nerve injuries, fragility fractures, heart failure and frail elderly patients.

The administration began the program in 2014 with cerebral stroke patients, transferring them to regional hospitals with PAC medical staff for rehabilitation, after they received emergency treatment at medical centers.

The program expanded to include burn injury patients in September 2015 and as of today there are 176 hospitals and 38 teams in the program, the administration said.

There has been significant improvement in the recovery of cerebral stroke patients through the program over the past three years, NHIA Deputy Director-General Tsai Shu-ling (蔡淑鈴) said, adding that the risk of rehospitalization and emergency treatment within 90 days has dropped by more than 50 percent.

Statistics show that patient recovery was improved by receiving intense rehabilitation treatment in the critical time shortly after sustaining an acute injury, she said.

The administration has allocated an additional NT$150 million (US$4.94 million) to expand the PAC program to include four more types of patients starting from Saturday, which is expected to benefit about another 17,000 people each year, she said.

The program is to be reviewed once every three years, Tsai said, adding that the administration hopes to expand the program to include more types of acute injury if results are positive.

In related news, the Regulations Governing the Product Names and Labeling of Prepackaged Butter, Cream, Margarine and Fat Spreads (市售奶油、乳脂、人造奶油與脂肪抹醬的品名及標示規定), announced by the Minister of Health and Welfare on Feb. 6, are also to be implemented on Saturday.

The regulation stipulates that “butter” must contain at least 80 percent milk fat, while “cream” should have at least 10 percent milk fat, but less than 80 percent.

For margarine and fat spreads made from a blend of fats, oils, water and food additives, “margarine” should contain at least 80 percent fat, while “fat spreads” should contain at least 10 percent, but less than 80 percent fat, while neither can be labeled “vegetable butter.”

Other food-safety related policies that are to be implemented include a requirement that table salt be labeled to indicate whether it contains potassium iodide.

Packaged creamers that contain less than 50 percent milk or milk powder are also required to reveal such information on their labels.

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