Expert Calls for Full Liability Medical Care System|看護需求高 專家建議"全責照護"納健保

According to statistics, 3.4 million citizens are hospitalized per year and the nursing demand and cost have reached NT$ 66 billion. However, a recent survey have discovered that 70 percent of medical institutions subcontract private nursing aides with the care recipients assuming the full risk. In response, authorities stressed that laws were revised to ask hospitals to strengthen management and to put the responsibility for evaluations on local health bureaus.

Many families hire a private nursing aide or caregiver when a family member has to be hospitalized, but this comes with risks. According to a recent media survey, hospitals often act as brokers for these private nursing aides and caregivers but have no liability if something goes wrong. Instead, the responsibility falls to the families and nursing aides and caregivers.

Hospitals have no liability even if they are the ones brokering the arrangement for patients. You end up with lawsuits between the families and the caregivers.

The survey also revealed that 13 of 19 medical centers in Taiwan subcontract nursing aides and caregivers and charge a commission of 3 to 5 percent. Cost ranges from NT$ 2,000 to NT$ 2,400 for around-the-clock care to NT$ 1,200 to NT$ 1,400 for 12-hour care, although there are few takers for the latter. There is also a great deal of fine print. Hospitals charge extra for patients in quarantine or physical rehabilitation patients. Whether it is fee standards, nursing qualifications or quality of care, the government has turned a blind eye. One expert says a full-liability medical care system must be implemented to disperse the cost of care.

Patient care is a nurse's job. This job should not be given to someone with no training whatsoever.

Which parts would be easier to move forward with under our current medical system? Some would be extremely difficult to move forward with. We can talk about those later.

The expert says full medical care liability should be introduced into the national health insurance system and balance billing should be used to adjust insurance premiums in a reasonable way. In response, the Ministry of Health and Welfare says revisions to relevant laws were announced last month to improve the quality of medical care in Taiwan through better management at hospitals and asking local health bureaus to hold aperiodic evaluations.