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Telemedicine for chronic disease patients during the COVID-19 pandemic

  In response to the spike of covid-19, chronic disease patients may use telemedicine provided by designated healthcare providers for follow-ups. Further, for those assessed as stable and eligible for phone consultations, they may also use phone consultations in order to lower risk of being infected.  

  The National Health Insurance Administration(NHIA)recommends that people with refillable prescriptions for patients with chronic illnesses can use telemedicine services to see a doctor near you where you use to. For patients who need follow-ups assessed as stable and eligible for phone consultations, they may have follow-ups over the phone. The measures are implemented tentatively from now on until the national third-level alert is downgraded or lifted. The steps are as followed:

  1. Visit the NHIA's website and check “telemedicine nearby.” (Chinese website only)
  2. Make a phone call to the designated healthcare provider and make an appointment. Provide ID number and download the video call app in advance.
  3. Wait for healthcare providers to start consultations.
  4. After the services provided, ask a family member take NHI card to the point of contact (e.g. drive-through) to swipe the card, make payments, collect the medications and take refillable prescriptions for chronic illnesses for the second and third refills. Medication delivery service can be offered by a pharmacist if the healthcare providers agree.
  5. With NHI card and prescriptions, refillable prescriptions in the second and third refills can be collected either at hospital, clinic or at community pharmacy.

  To ensure patients’ safety, the function of NHI Medicloud system “inquiry in response to natural disasters and medical emergency” has been open to enable doctors to look up patients’ medical records as well as assess remaining medications and state of an illness. For follow-up patients, doctors can make phone consultations (recording required) and give refillable prescriptions for patients with chronic illnesses.
  To reduce the risk of being infected, the NHIA encourages everyone to make use of telemedicine and get a prescription filled at community pharmacy.

  • Date:2021-05-20