NHI ex­pen­di­tures to rise at least 4% in 2016: NDC

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY ENRU LIN

The Na­tional Devel­op­ment Coun­cil (NDC, ) yes­ter­day ap­proved a 4.025-per­cent min­i­mum ex­pen­di­ture in­crease for Na­tional Health In­sur­ance (NHI) in 2016, the high­est an­nual growth rate on record.

Tai­wan’s to­tal ex­pen­di­tures un­der its uni­ver­sal health care scheme will be at least NT$614.3 bil­lion in 2016, up NT$23.8 bil­lion or 4.025 per­cent from this year, the NDC said Mon­day.

The 4.025-per­cent growth rate is the high­est since the launch of the NHI in 1995, ac­cord­ing to the NDC, which said pri­mary fac­tors for the in­crease in­clude changes in pop­u­la­tion struc­ture, the ris­ing cost of med­i­cal ser­vices and in­creases in the in­sured pop­u­la­tion.

The NDC also ap­proved a 5.8-per­cent up­per limit on NHI’s to­tal ex­pen­di­tures in­crease in 2016.

The rates were set based on rec­om­men­da­tions from the Min­istry of Health and Wel­fare ( ), which man­ages Tai­wan’s com­pre­hen­sive health care pro­gram.

The min­istry sub­mit­ted its bud­get for NHI’s com­ing op­er­a­tional year on May 8 and the NDC con­vened its first re­view panel on the plan in late May.

Chal­lenges Ahead

Chu Tong- kuang ( ), direc­tor of the min­istry's De­part- of So­cial In­sur­ance ( ) , rec­om­mended that to­tal ex­pen­di­tures be per­mit­ted to in­crease be­tween 4.025 and 5.8 per­cent, in con­sid­er­a­tion of pro­jected chal­lenges.

The lower bound of the rate hike ac­counts for is­sues like the ris­ing cost of med­i­cal ser­vices and Tai­wan’s rapid de­mo­graphic tran­si­tion, which is driv­ing up the uti­liza­tion of ser­vices and as­so­ci­ated costs.

The up­per bound ac­counts for pro­jected gov­ern­ment pol­icy changes and their im­pact, on vari­ables in­clud­ing the cost of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals and the in­tro­duc­tion of new health care tech­nolo­gies, Chu said.

ment

In a state­ment re­leased yes­ter­day, the NDC broached the ques­tion of NHI’s fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity.

“In re­cent years, the fi­nan­cial sit­u­a­tion of the health care sys­tem has been com­par­a­tively good, but in con­sid­er­a­tion of the ac­cel­er­ated aging of the pop­u­la­tion struc­ture and in­creased med­i­cal needs, ex­penses will con­tinue to in­crease,” the NDC stated.

“Be­cause the rate of NHI rev­enue growth is limited, the in­sur­ance sys­tem will face fi­nan­cial pres­sure in the fu­ture. As a re­sult, we ask the Min­istry of Health and Wel­fare to pre­pare a pro­gram for fi­nan­cial sus­tain­abil­ity and re­source al­lo­ca­tion.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Taiwan

© PressReader. All rights reserved.