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To support epidemic prevention, non-NHI contracted medical institutions can apply for VPN service to search patients' travel history to specific areas and contact history 

Many countries have been hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, so the Executive Yuan upgraded the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) to a level-1 facility on February 27, 2020. The NHI contracted medical institutions are able to access patients' travel history to high-risk areas as well as contact history provided by the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA). The NHIA strives to close potential gaps in epidemic prevention; therefore, non-NHI contracted medical institutions can also access the NHI information virtual private network (VPN) from February 19, 2020. Medical institutions must apply to Chunghwa Telecom for Internet service (available for wired/wireless users, Internet fees not included) and to the respective regional division of the NHIA. After logging in to obtain authorization, medical personnel can simply enter patients' national ID number, ARC number or passport information of foreigners without reading their NHI Card to search patients’ travel history to specific areas affected by COVID-19 or contact history with people who are confirmed to be infected with the COVID-19 virus. This can assist in reducing the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 


The NHIA stated that knowing about a history of travel to China, Hong Kong, and Macao, as well as the contact history recorded in the NHI card significantly help medical institutions contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. According to the instructions from CECC and the pandemic development worldwide, countries that have been given travel advisories include China, Hong Kong, Macao, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Iran, Italy, and Thailand. Previously, only travelers who had been to specific areas in the past 14 or 30 days would be shown on the notification list when they seek medical attenetion, and those who had been to these areas in the past more than 30 days record would be insert into the NHI database. From February 27, travelers who have entry or exit immigration records for any country in the world after January 8 will also be shown on the notification list. 


To support epidemic prevention, the NHIA encourages certain medical institutions to apply for the VPN service during the pandemic of COVID-19, including medical institutions that offer non-NHI covered treatments, such as aesthetic medicine, dentistry, or high-level health checkups, as well as medical institutions that many people would visit, including physical therapy clinics, occupational therapy clinics, home nursing care facilities, nursing homes, midwifery clinics, and blood donation stations. This can reduce the risks of medical personnel’s exposure to the virus and enhance epidemic prevention. 


Currently, there are more than 5,000 non-NHI contracted medical institutions across Taiwan. As of March 3, there are 48 medical institutions already completed the installation of Chunghwa Telecom's VPN routing (49 other medical institutions have applied, but installation has not yet been completed); 72 medical institutions have obtained the VPN authorization from NHIA; 29 medical institutions have obtained VPN authorization and completed the installation; 15 medical institutions have already used the service, according to NHIA. 


The NHIA encourages more non-NHI contracted medical institutions to apply for VPN access in order to strengthen epidemic prevention and make the utmost effort to close the gap. For more information, please visit the webpage of NHIA: NHIA homepage/themed section/cloud queries/COVID-19 prevention section for non-NHI contracted medical institutions (Link: https://www.nhi.gov.tw/Content_List.aspx?n=8FD3AB971F557AD4&topn=5FE8C9FE AE863B46&upn=90A10EAD4E5C2EDD

  • Date:2020-03-04