President showcases Taiwan's health care system at WMA

05/22/2018 08:11 PM
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Taipei, May 22 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) extolled the benefits of Taiwan's National Health Insurance, an example of the universal health coverage (UHC) that the United Nations made one of its sustainable development goals in 2015, in a pre-recorded video played at the World Medical Association (WMA) General Assembly Tuesday.

The WMA meeting, which is taking place in Geneva concurrently with the 71st World Health Assembly (WHA) meeting, from which Taiwan is excluded, allowed Tsai to showcase to physicians from around the world Taiwan's accessible and affordable health care system that covers Taiwanese nationals as well as foreign workers and legal residents.

According to Tsai, UHC "has unquestionably become the single most powerful message and most unifying keyword in global health."

To this end, Taiwan's National Health Insurance (NHI) system, founded in 1995, serves as a good example of what the U.N. is trying to accomplish, the president said.

The NHI is "very comprehensive," according to Tsai, as it encompasses anything from the common cold to organ transplants, and is also very affordable, with a premium of less than 5 percent of a person's monthly salary, which adds up to a total health care expenditure that is less than 7 percent of the country's GDP.

Tsai claimed that since the implementation of the NHI, "no one goes broke because of medical bills."

As such, Taiwan's NHI is "a good model for achieving universal health coverage" for many developing countries, she continued, adding that Taiwan would be happy to share and contribute to the health and welfare of everyone in the world.

The video, which is available on Tsai's official Facebook page, was accompanied by a post that makes an argument for why Taiwan should be allowed to participate in the WHA and other international health-related events and organizations.

(By Kuan-lin Liu and Yeh Su-ping)


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