NHIA participates in Taiwan-Switzerland health insurance forum

The National Health Insurance Administration under the Ministry of Health and Welfare participated May 24 in the Taiwan-Switzerland Joint Forum on Health Insurance, exchanging professional views and experiences on national health insurance issues on the sidelines of the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland.

The forum was one of several events taking place on the sidelines of the WHA�the decision-making body of the World Health Organization�and was attended by a Taiwan delegation led by MOHW Minister Chen Shih-chung. Further meetings are scheduled to be held with international representatives and medical organizations.

According to the ministry, these interactions will facilitate exchanges on health issues and trends, as well as concerns over epidemics, to help effectively safeguard global health security.

At the forum, organized by the Swiss Society for Health Policy, NHIA Director-General Lee Po-chang gave a presentation titled Achievements and Challenges of Taiwan National Health Insurance and engaged in professional exchanges with Swiss delegates. The health minister also spoke at the opening of the forum.

Taiwan implemented its NHI system in 1995, demonstrating the nation's strong and steadfast commitment to upholding the principle of health for all, Minster Chen said, adding that such efforts echo the goal of universal health coverage promoted by the WHO. Our NHI is universal in its coverage, comprehensive in its benefits, effective in its administration and equitable in its financing, he said.

During his presentation, the NHIA director-general pointed out that after taking office in May 2016, President Tsai Ing-wen unlocked the NHI cards of citizens who had failed to pay health insurance premiums, ensuring their right to access health care services. Other government efforts to provide the people of Taiwan with additional high-quality health care include establishing a cloud-based NHI system as well as executing plans to bring health care and medical services to residents in remote mountainous areas and offshore islands.

The government will continue to improve the NHI system in order to offer better medical and health care to the people of Taiwan as well as ensure the system can continue to operate sustainably, Lee concluded.

The NHI is a world-class public health system widely regarded as one of Taiwan's most impressive public sector achievements. The scheme covers more than 99 percent of the nation's 23 million people, providing easy access to a comprehensive range of high-quality medical services.

This is the first time Taiwan has been excluded from the WHA since it was invited to attend in 2009 following an absence of 38 years. The country has continuously shared its extensive experience in a range of areas like universal health care coverage and disease outbreak management.

Source: Taiwan Today