A childbirth accident relief mechanism has improved doctor-patient relationships and reduced litigation on childbirth-related medical disputes by about 60 percent, a Ministry of Health and Welfare report published on Monday showed.
The ministry in 2012 launched a pilot program encouraging healthcare facilities to handle disputes associated with childbirth accidents and the Legislative Yuan in December 2015 passed the Childbirth Accident Emergency Relief Act (生產事故救濟條例), which went into effect on June 30, 2016.
Taiwan is the first Asian nation to enact a specialized law for handling childbirth accidents and is one of the few nations in the world that has established a no-fault compensation system for all types of childbirth accidents.
The act stipulates that the government is to provide a maximum of NT$2 million (US$64,838) in relief for each case of moderate or severe disability or death of a pregnant woman, fetus or newborn that occurs during childbirth, but families that apply for the relief program may not file a lawsuit.
The first annual report on implementation of the act showed that 427 cases, or 86.4 percent, of 494 relief applications during the pilot were approved, with a total of NT$41.55 million in relief disbursed.
A total of 286 applications were received after the act went into effect, with 282 cases, or 98.6 percent, approved and NT$13.08 million in relief disbursed before the end of 2017, it showed.
The mechanism allows healthcare practitioners to be more willing to explain situations to patients and their families, as well as help them apply for relief, so it has reduced the number of childbirth-related medical disputes, Department of Medical Affairs Director-General Shih Chung-liang (石崇良) said.
Instituting the act also helped the government discover systematic errors and learn from each serious childbirth accident to improve and prevent or reduce the harm from such accidents, he said, adding that improved doctor-patient relationships have also motived more medical school graduates to become obstetricians.
Litigation on childbirth-related medical disputes in 2017 fell by about 60 percent from 2011, Shih said, adding that the recruitment rate of resident doctors in obstetrics and gynecology departments increased from about 60 percent in 2010 to 100 percent in 2017.
The most significant effect of the mechanism has been improving doctor-patient relationships, as hospitals are required to explain the situation to patients and their families within two days of an accident, Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology secretary-general Huang Min-chao (黃閔照) said.
There are several unpredictable risks in childbirth and doctors in the past might have had concerns about explaining accidents due to the fear that what they said could be admitting medical negligence or malpractice, and that their explanation could be used as evidence against them in lawsuits, Huang said, adding that the mechanism has motivated hospitals to communicate with patients and their families first.
FATAL FIRE: The health department is trying to contact the inspector who visited the site of the illegal nursing home to ask why they did not advise follow-up checks The Taipei City Government yesterday said that a health department inspector last year had visited the site of a long-term care facility in Neihu District (內湖) after receiving a report questioning its status. A fire broke out at the facility on Tuesday afternoon, killing three people. The Taipei Fire Department said that it received a report about a fire on the first floor of a four-story residential building on Kangning Road Sec. 1 at 2:38pm on Tuesday, firefighters arrived at 2:43pm and the fire was put out by 3:07pm. The firefighters found three men in beds and rushed them to hospital for
Taipei City Councilor Wang Hao (王浩) of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Monday called for security improvements to the MRT, as fare evasion has increased more than 13-fold on the metropolitan railway system over the past five years. Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) has spoken out against fare evasion and other contraventions of MRT regulations, but since he took office in 2015 the number of contraventions has more than doubled, Wang said, adding that there were 537 cases in 2015 compared with 959 last year. A video was posted to YouTube in June showing people how to evade paying a fare,
FEELING MISUNDERSTOOD: Media speculation has fueled confusion about the KMT’s reasons for skipping a Chinese forum and delaying an AIT meeting, party sources said The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) on Sunday said that it is not seeking to improve relations with the US or China at the expense of the other, and that its relations with the countries would be topic-based. The party has faced questions over its foreign policy after it on Monday last week announced its withdrawal from the annual Straits Forum and delayed planned talks with the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT). The party has also taken a tough stance on the importation of US meat containing ractopamine, while also lambasting China for increasing its military activity in and around the Taiwan Strait. Following
Yuchi Township (魚池) fishers have appealed to the Nantou County Government for help in dealing with an invasive fish species in Sun Moon Lake (日月潭), where it has devastated the local ecosystem. Fishers at Sun Moon Lake have been using electrofishing in an attempt to eliminate the giant snakehead fish — found in Africa and Southeast Asia — but they have struggled to keep up with the growing population of the species, which breeds during September and October, the county government said on Monday. The county has contacted researchers at National Tsing Hua University, saying it hoped they could come up