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NHI Increases Organ Transplant Payment to Encourage Organ Donation, Extend Life, and Promote Quality of Life

  Transplantation is a form of treatment for terminal patients with organ failure. It extends life, improves future quality of life, and enables patients to continue contributing to society. The Ministry of Health and Welfare has for many years joined efforts with non-governmental groups in promoting organ donation. As of September 30, 2016, 318,519 people have indicated their organ donor status in their NHI Card, while the valid number of patients on the waiting list to receive a transplant was 8,793; among them, 6,735 people were awaiting a kidney transplant, accounting for the majority (website information of the Taiwan Organ Registry and Sharing Center).

  In the case of kidneys, 15.2 people out of every 100 thousand in Taiwan receive a kidney transplant, which is lower than the OECD average of 36.4, or that in the United States at 54.4 or Canada at 46.3. It is only higher than that in Japan. Related publications have revealed that quality of life of patients with a kidney transplant is better than that of those on dialysis and the overall medical expenses are reduced over the long term.

  In order to encourage organ transplantation, its payment fee schedule has been adjusted multiple times since the inception of National Health Insurance. For the sake of reasonably reflecting the cost borne by hospitals, the payment points were adjusted again this September. Those for a kidney transplantation procedure, in particular, were adjusted to 165,560 payment points, a 9.2 fold increase from the 18,024 payment points at the inception of National Health Insurance. Those for heart transplantation procedures, on the other hand, were adjusted to 307,965 payment points, a 2.5 fold increase from the 122,400 payment points at the inception of National Health Insurance.

  National Health Insurance will continue to reasonably reflect the cost of medical care in the future by adjusting the payment fee schedule, taking into consideration both quality and medical care integration. The promotion of organ donation, however, requires support and joint efforts from the general public.

  • Date:2016-11-17