Taipei, May 28 (CNA) The Bureau of National Health Insurance proposed a NT$670 million plan Monday that it hopes will improve medical services in remote areas.
The bureau intends to allocate NT$670 million (US$22.6 million) to hospitals in sparsely populated areas that are interested in expanding and improving their emergency services and departments of internal medicine, surgery, obstetrics and gynecology and pediatrics.
Tsai Shu-ling, a division chief with the bureau, said that with more complete services, the remote hospitals can save local residents the time, energy and money they normally have to spend traveling to urban areas for treatment at better-equipped hospitals.
Hospitals that successfully apply for funding under the plan will be able to provide round-the-clock emergency services, improve outpatient care in each of the four major medical departments, strengthen inpatient care and send people to local communities to offer preventive health care services.
Tsai said 78 hospitals currently qualify to apply for the funding. Among them, 27 have yet to offer 24-hour emergency services and 50 suffer from a shortage of resources in their internal medicine, surgery, ob/gyn, and pediatric departments.
(By Lung Rei-yun and Elizabeth Hsu)