People who linger in ER may need to pay own way
The National Health Insurance Administration ( NHIA, ) announced on Wednesday, that people who are not evaluated as emergency cases and insist on staying in the emergency room may need to pay at their own expense.
But, representatives from medical facilities said that they are skeptical about such administrative measures. Without clear standards, there might be an increase in medical disputes.
Pang Yi-ming ( ), from the NIHA, stated that some hospitals’ emergency rooms are filled with cases of patients not following suggestions to leave or transfer hospitals, squeezing the medical resources of other patients. “The purpose of the law’s amendment is to reduce unnecessary waste. One should not ask other people to suffer if they are not supposed to be in the emergency room,” Pang said.
Pang stated that they are currently collecting opinions from all stakeholders. If successful, the regulations will be put into practice in September. If people insist on staying in the emergency room, the fee might add up to NT$3,000 a day.
Many hospital emergency rooms are often congested. According to the NHIA, over 75,000 people have stayed in emergency rooms for over two days, averaging out to about 200 people everyday. However, statistics show that at the 19 Medical Sciences Teaching Center, only 20 percent of patients in the emergency facilities are considered severe cases.
The National Health Insurance Administration had announced that it will amend related articles of the Regulations Governing the Medical Services Covered under National Health Insurance (
), stating that hospitals should not allow insured people who are not in an emergency situation to linger in the ICU. If they have already received medical treatment, are able to leave the hospital or are suggested to transfer to another institutions, people who do not cooperate should incur the medical fees themselves.
However, some doctors skeptical. Chang Chih-hua (
), Emergency Department director of Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital ( ), stated that the administration has not set implementation details and unified standards. With different rules for every hospital, it is “passing the buck to medical personnel,” and fears an increase in medical disputes and adding more stress to medical institutions.
In response to the concerns, Pang stated that methods of execution could further be discussed.