Taiwan health minister hints at possible NHI fee hike

TAIPEI (The China Post) — Taiwan Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) hinted on Monday at a possible health insurance fee hike in the future, before adding that it’s too early to make an announcement. 

Speaking at an event marking the 25th anniversary of the National Health Insurance Administration (衛福部健保署), Chen also explained that there is no way to tell for sure when a vaccine will be ready despite efforts made by industry leaders. 

Chen stressed the importance of following due protocols before putting some drugs on the markets, or distribution will ultimately be delayed. 

Chen further emphasized that it would be unwise to concentrate all of the country’s resources on one potential vaccine out of the nine vaccines currently in the third stage of clinical trials. 

As there’s no way yet of knowing which is more effective, the government should evenly distribute resources to support their research, he continued.

When asked about the possible increase to the NHI fee at the end of the year with the safety reserve lower than 1.5 months, Chen admitted that “it’s a possibility,” but there has yet to be an agreement on health insurance spending for the following year, he explained, stressing that it’s a bit early to talk about revenue.