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The Integrated Healthcare Plan for COVID-19 Survivors Provides Comprehensive Care

To help COVID-19 survivors return to their normal lives as quickly as possible, the NHIA and various departments of the Ministry of Health and Welfare began promoting the "Integrated Healthcare Plan for COVID-19 survivors”in December 2021. The plan helps COVID-19 survivors released from quarantine within 6 months to receive medical assistance for long COVID-19 symptoms, arranged by case managers of various participating hospitals. The NHIA would like to remind these patients to utilize this resource in order to reduce negative effects and improve social functions, helping them return to society as soon as possible.

According to statistics on July 5, 2022, 3.92 million people have been confirmed as COVID-19 cases in Taiwan. Among them, moderate and severe cases only comprise 0.25% and 0.19% respectively. According to the COVID-19 follow-up study reports from various countries, 30% to 60% of confirmed cases continue to suffer long COVID symptoms within 60 days of recovery. These symptoms include fatigue (53.1%), shortness of breath (22.9% to 43.4%), joint pain (27.3%), chest pains (21.7%), coughing (15.4%), and abnormal senses of smell and taste (13.1%).

Because some COVID-19 survivors may develop many physical and psychological symptoms, they would require cross-specialties medical attentions to alleviate the negative effects on individuals, families, and work. Therefore, the "Integrated Healthcare Plan for COVID-19 survivors”was established. Patients released from quarantine within 6 months shall be assessed by doctors to join in this plan.

Considering that COVID-19 survivors may have multiple complications, they may require outpatient care from different specialties and sometimes they may be unclear which department to visit, lacking a patient-centered health care. Therefore, by implementing the integrated medical services, medical teams can evaluate the daily life, quality of life, respiration, pains, mental health, and nutrition of COVID-19 survivors. The hospital will regularly assess and follow up on the patient's condition.

When COVID-19 survivors take an integrated healthcare service, they only pay one registration fee and one copayment. If they have financial difficulties, social resources can be referred and provided after assessment by the social worker of the hospital. If a COVID-19 survivor has needs in long-term care services, long-term care services will be recommended to the patient. The aim of the plan is to help COVID-19 survivors return to their lives as soon as possible and to encourage hospitals to establish integrated outpatient and inpatient care, improving healthcare accessibility for COVID-19 survivors.

  • Date:2022-07-18