More than 70 medical and labor groups have urged the Legislative Yuan to prioritize the proposed amendments to the Medical Act (醫療法) and pass them during this legislative session.
Citing hospital management problems — such as last year’s mass resignation of Chang Gung Memorial Hospital surgeons and the Mackay Memorial Hospital chairman having been accused of setting up private companies — the Taiwan Health Reform Foundation said the proposed amendments aimed at enhancing regulation of hospital management have been waiting at the legislature for nearly a year.
The foundation has collected signatures representing more than 70 medical and labor groups petitioning all party caucuses to speed up the review of proposed amendments so that it would pass the third reading before the end of next month, it said in a statement.
An investigation into June last year’s mass resignation has yet to be concluded after nearly a year, and the Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) has said the hospital can ignore investigators’ request for improvement, as the proposed amendments have not been passed, foundation chairperson Joanne Liu (劉淑瓊) said.
Chao Lin-Yu (趙麟宇), president of the Ditmanson Medical Foundation Chia-yi Christian Hospital Labor Union, said that while the union was legally established after negotiations, the hospital can still reject demands for improving labor conditions.
The act needs to be amended so that members of the hospital’s board can be changed and its employees can be saved from working in “blood and sweat.”
The reform foundation asked whether the proposed amendments are being held at the legislature due to influence from big corporations that are behind several hospitals.
While expressing gratitude to the Democratic Progressive Party caucus for prioritizing the bill in February to deal with it in this legislative session, the foundation said that it is already the end of April, and urged the party, which holds a majority in the legislature, to include the bill in the legislature’ agenda for a third reading.
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