The National Health Insurance (NHI) system should include more out-of-pocket items and raise the fees for people who benefit more from it, experts said yesterday, citing a 95 percent increase in medical expenses covered by the government from 2000 to 2017.

The NHI system is expected to face a deficit of NT$77.1 billion (US$2.66 billion) next year, with reserve funds that could only cover one month of expenses, Ministry of Health and Welfare statistics showed.

From 2000 to 2017, although 0.3 percent fewer people visited hospitals, the average number of hospital visits per person per year increased 14 percent from 12 to 14, and medical expenses per insured person increased from NT$8,422 to NT$16,496, a 95 percent hike, Shinkong Wu Ho-su Memorial Hospital vice superintendent Hung Tzu-jen (洪子仁) said at a conference in Taipei on NHI reform.

Source: Taipei Times