NHI is the backbone of ‘Taiwan Model,’ but for how long?

TAIPEI (The China Post) — As the “Taiwan Model” for COVID-19 prevention measures have headed into the limelight worldwide, many observers credit its success to Taiwan’s comprehensive National Healthcare Insurance (NHI) system.

Still, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) hinted on Monday at a possible health insurance fee hike, exposing the potential problems that lay in store for this internationally-acclaimed system.

Though all citizens in Taiwan hold NHI cards that contain medical data accessible to every clinic and hospital in Taiwan, doctors are becoming increasingly overwhelmed as Taiwan’s elderly population begins to take up a significant toll on Taiwan’s healthcare system.

Taiwan citizens go to the doctor, on average, 16 times a year, which is nearly 3 times higher than other OECD countries, leading to the possibility of health insurance fee hikes to avoid the bankruptcy of the NHI system.

To address this challenge, news anchor Catherine Lu (路怡珍) invited Jordan Masys, founder of PhysioQ to explain how many companies and health experts have begun looking towards technology and algorithms to connect data so as to reduce trips to the hospital.

The ultimate goal is to allow citizens to track their health issues at home and seek medical attention when an abnormal spike or pattern appears.

In utilizing technology, electronic gadgets may be able to step in and help ease the workload of frontline medical workers and reduce the burdens on the NHI system.

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