Health Care And Public Sanitation

In order to give every citizen access to appropriate medical care and health services, the Provincial Government is continuing to implement Phase 2 of its program to strengthen balanced distribution of medical resources and special medical services, build a comprehensive grassroots public health organization, boost the functions of public health bureaux and offices, improve medical and health care facilities, organize group medical centers and boost medical services in mountain areas and on offshore islands, strengthen emergency services, promote public health education and awareness of medical network hierarchy and referral so as to avoid "insurance without treatment," shorten the gap between urban and rural medical care, and raise overall medical care standards in preparation for the implementation of universal health insurance and to promote the good health of the nation.

Health Care Organizations and Facilities

In 1993, there were an average of 43.9 hospital beds and 42.9 medical personnel for every 10,000 people. In terms of both quality and quantity, health care has undergone considerable progress. Future projects include medium-term reconstruction plans for provincial hospitals, procuring modem sophisticated equipment, introducing business accountability for provincial hospital directors to improve hospital management skills, and building up cooperation and staff interchange between provincial hospitals and teaching hospitals to raise medical standards. Efforts are also being made to expand Chinese medical services, boost emergency services and mental disease prevention, reinforce special industrial disease clinics at Taipei, Taoyuan, Hsinchu, Taichung, Fengyuan and Tainan provincial hospitals, assist county and city public health bureaux in setting up on-line foreign laborer health control systems, and expanding medical services to the public.

Expanding Grassroots Public Health Care

To establish a new grassroots public health care system and expand rural and urban health care, the Provincial Government emphasizes the enhancement of public health care service centers and the establishment of grassroots service centers, the upgrading of basic health care, the promotion of vocational disease prevention and factory hygiene education, the expansion of mobile health services and training of regional medical and nursing personnel to solve regional personnel shortages and meet demand for medical services in remote areas, mountainous districts and offshore islands, the promotion of new family planning, and the provision of family planning information and services. As of fiscal year 1994 a total of 172 group medical centers and 587 grassroots health service centers were in operation to solve the shortage of doctors and improve medical services in outlying areas.

Prevention of Contagious Disease

As prevention is better than cure, the government continues to promote preventive inoculation programs. Inoculations were made optional in 1981.

Effective measures have been taken to prevent the spread of contagious disease, to eliminate sources of infection, and to disseminate hygiene education. Special care is being taken to strengthen child health protection and to prevent Japanese encephalitis, typhoid, paratyphoid, dysentery, measles and hepatitis B. Due to the success 'of inoculation and promotion of public sanitation plans, cases of people contracting or dying from contagious diseases have decreased in number.

Food Safety and Drug Control

In order to ensure food safety, 11,168 food factories have been placed under government supervision, and eight categories of food producers have been given assistance in examining and controlling the quality of their products. Food and sanitation control has been strictly enforced. Foods and advertisements for foods are under close inspection. The technology to check the sanitation of slaughtering of animals for food has been improved. Other measures to promote public health and food safety are to carry out sample checks and inspections of sanitation facilities at food factories and restaurants, to boost hygiene inspections of dairy and meat products and food labeling checks, to implement the CAS food labeling scheme to help consumers identify product quality, and to promote food hygiene awareness among the public at large. To meet the needs for drug safety, the Provincial Government has assisted drug producers in implementing the G.M.P. (Good Medicine Produce) program to upgrade the quality of domestically produced medicines. Up to the end of Dec. 1993, 267 producers had passed the G.M.P. evaluation. Advertisement and pricing of medicines are also under close control in order to protect the public's rights.

Prevention of Disease and Dissemination of Eugenics

Due to economic growth and the successful promotion of public health sanitation, the aver-age life expectancy for people in Taiwan has been increased from 52.9 years for males and 56.3 for females in 1950 to 72.02 for males and 77.42 for females in 1993, with sharp and continuous increase of the elderly population. Therefore, disease prevention for the elderly has become an important task of public health care. The Provincial Government has drafted plans concerning prevention of disease for the elderly, under which local public health offices will deploy midwives, chronic nursing assistants and family planning nursing assistants to visit homes and meeting places to provide the middle aged and elderly with community screening services for high blood pressure and diabetes.

Eugenics is the key to the production of healthy offspring. At present premarital blood tests and newborn baby health check-ups are offered to the public in order to improve the genetic stock.

[Back] [Home] [Next]