Tackling Cancer in Taiwan Needs New Thinking

Many cancer drugs are not covered by Taiwan’s NHI, leading to a steady increase in the proportion of self-payment.

The News Lens
Date: 2017/06/20
By: By Rachel McMahon, Taiwan Business TOPICS Magazine

Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) has set a target of reducing the mortality rate and

Photo Credit: PixabayCC0 License

premature death rate from cancer by 25% by 2020, in line with World Health Organization objectives. In its position paper in the recently released 2017 Taiwan White Paper of the American Chamber of Commerce in Taipei, the Chamber’s Public Health Committee refers to the importance of that goal in light of the huge economic impact caused by cancer in decreasing victims’ lifespan and ability to work. A 2015 study estimated the annual economic loss in Taiwan due to cancer – not counting direct medical costs – at around NT$21.8 billion (about US$715 million).

The Committee notes, however, that meeting the Ministry’s goal will require increased investment in cancer prevention and treatment, including the promotion of frequent screening and in making innovative oncology drugs available. It urges the government to take advantage of the current financial surplus enjoyed by the National Health Insurance (NHI) system to increase the budget and other resources devoted to fighting cancer.    [FULL  STORY]

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