The influence of medical cost controls implemented by Taiwan's national health insurance program on doctor–patient relationships

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To prevent medical costs from rising, the National Health Insurance administration implemented the global budget system for financial reform, effective 1 July 2004. Since the implementation of this system, patients have been required to pay for some medicines to limit costs to the system. More recently, as they have faced constant increases in health insurance fees and also faced an increase in the number of medical expenses they must pay during an economic recession and a rise in unemployment, would the economic burden on the people of Taiwan not be increased? Even though National Health Insurance is a form of social insurance, does it guarantee social equality? The value of the healthcare industry is irreplaceable, so the most critical concern is whether worsening doctor–patient relationships will worsen healthcare quality. In short, while the global budget system saves on National Health Insurance costs, whether its implementation has affected healthcare quality is also worth exploring. This commentary also hopes to serve as a reference for the implementation of national health insurance in the United States. Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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