April 7th is World Health Day, which aims to raise awareness of health and healthcare work around the world, and increase people’s knowledge and understanding of the field of health. The theme for this year’s World Health Day is “Health for All”! At 9 am on April 7th in Taiwan, Minister Jui-Yuan Hsueh of the Ministry of Health and Welfare led other top officials from various departments were holding a meeting to discuss national health policies. During the meeting, all the officials wore the 2023 World Health Day symbol T-shirts and shouted “Health for All in Taiwan, Healthy and Vibrant, No. 1!” in response to World Health Organization’s “2023 World Health Day.”
Health Minister Jui-Yuan Hsueh, urged all people to cherish their health and follow a healthy lifestyle, while also caring for their family and friends to promote correct health concepts. Minister Hsueh emphasized, “In the shadow of the past three years of the pandemic, Taiwan has already proven to the world that it can stand shoulder to shoulder with other countries to fight the epidemic. Therefore, Taiwan cannot be absent in any world health alliance, including WHO.”
Chung-Liang Shih, Director-General of the National Health Insurance Administration, also stated that this year marks the 28th anniversary of the implementation of National Health Insurance (NHI), and Taiwan’s NHI has reached 100%, providing every citizen with high-quality medical care services from womb to tomb, from preventive care to long-term care. Director-General Shih mentioned that “for many countries, Taiwan’s health insurance system is a model for implementing the World Health Organization’s call for universal health coverage.” Providing comprehensive medical care for all citizens, leaving no one behind, makes diseases no longer the main cause of the wealth gap.
The National Health Insurance (NHI) in Taiwan covers a wide range of medical services, including general illnesses, rare diseases, cancer, and advanced medical technologies such as CT scans, MRI scans, and robotic surgeries. The NHI also provides integrated care for different patient groups, such as chronic disease management and home healthcare, to achieve the goal of whole-person care. Taiwan was the first country in the world to implement a universal B hepatitis vaccine policy, and since 2017, it has included oral medication for C hepatitis in the NHI coverage, with the aim of eliminating 80% of C hepatitis cases by 2030 in response to WHO’s call. In particular, during the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, Taiwan’s comprehensive insurance system and high-quality medical system effectively contained the spread of the virus, allowing communities to function normally and providing valuable lessons for other countries.
Taiwan supports the United Nations’ “2030 Sustainable Development Agenda” passed in September 2015, as well as the World Health Organization’s call for countries to achieve universal health coverage by 2030. Taiwan’s National Health Insurance system provides a valuable example for the world to learn from and reference. Director General Shih Chung-liang also pointed out that this year, the vision of the National Health Insurance Administration, SDGS, echoes the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations. SDGS stands for System integration, Digital technology, Great partnership, and Sound finance, which are the main directions for promoting future health care.
The National Health Insurance Administration recognizes the importance of collaborating and exchanging with the global international community. In the future, we will actively align with international health policies, create a whole-person and whole-process health care, and continue to work towards creating a society that is healthy, equal, and fair. We strive to become the best example in the world for implementing “Universal Health Coverage” and “Health for All” advocated by WHO.
Source: National Health Insurance Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare