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.


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