Free Chingguan Yihau Only Available to Select Groups in Future 清冠一號公費對象 9/15起限高風險族群

Free courses of Chingguan Yihau will stop on Sept. 15 for anyone between the ages of 12 and 65 that doesn't have risk factors for severe symptoms. The announcement was blasted by medical groups.

Many COVID-19 patients choose to take the Chinese medicine formula Chingguan Yihau over western drugs to alleviate their symptoms. The formula is currently free, but patients may have to pay NT$1,500-2,000 out of pocket for a 5-day course of treatment in the future.

Mr. Huang, Citizen: “It looks like the epidemic is worsening again, so demand for Chingguan Yihau will probably go up. The people are being forced to shoulder the cost.

With the case count spiking, the Ministry of Health and Welfare has announced stricter requirements for free prescriptions of Chingguan Yihau starting Sept. 15, excluding people between the ages of 12 and 65 that don't have risk factors for severe symptoms. Patients, meanwhile, are complaining that the government has cancelled their subsidies. The National Union of Chinese Medical Doctors' Association is blasting the decision, saying the government is taking away people's umbrellas when it rains. The union added that now the same groups are eligible for both western antivirals and Chingguan Yihau, and the government is failing to consider the safety and efficacy of the latter.

Ko Fu-yang, Chair, National Union of Chinese Medical Doctors' Association ROC: “Children with COVID-19 are being treated with Chingguan Yihau at Taitung Christian Hospital's children's hospital. The results have been excellent. Why should we exclude children from taking it?”

Victor Wang, Central Epidemic Command Center Chief: “There are three. That is to say, in this case -- if they have a fever, and then if they have a sore throat -- like, a severe sore throat -- and then if they have shortness of breath, then in this area, then they can be prescribed [Chingguan Yihau] based on Chinese medicine indications.”

The Central Epidemic Command Center is defending the government's decision saying it is only "clarifying" which categories of patients Chingguan Yihau is suitable for and people that get COVID-19 and don't recover from a high fever, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat or difficulty swallowing after two days can still go and see a Chinese medicine doctor to get a diagnosis and a free prescription if they meet the criteria. The CECC also says Chingguan Yihau will not be available to anyone that has already taken western antivirals as there could be drug interaction.












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