More Taiwanese living in poor health

IRRESPONSIBLE ATTITUDES? Some experts say the NHI system does not do enough to educate the public, or pay doctors to talk to patients, about healthy lifestyles

Taipei Times
Date: Jun 29, 2020
By: Wu Liang-yi / Staff reporter

The wall in front of the Ministry of Health and Welfare in Taipei is pictured in an undated photograph.
Photo: Lin Hui-chin, Taipei Times

While the life expectancy of Taiwanese newborns in 2018 reached 80.69 years, the number of years people spent in poor health hit a record high at 8.41 years, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed on Saturday.

Healthy life expectancy is calculated by a person’s life expectancy minus the time they spend in ill health, such as the loss of mobility, disabilities and chronic disease, based on medical records and calculations about the years they live with disabilities.

The number of years that Taiwanese spend in poor health is increasing slowly, but steadily, rising by 0.46 years, or five-and-a-half months, between 2012 and 2018, Department of Statistics Lee Chiu-yen (李秋嬿) said.

The trend corresponds to the phenomenon of Taiwan becoming a superannuated society, said Chiou Hung-yih (邱弘毅), a professor of public health at Taipei Medical University.

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