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President pledges to improve treatment of healthcare workers
Central News Agency
2013-12-23 02:20 PM
Taipei, Dec. 23 (CNA) President Ma Ying-jeou said Monday that the government will improve the treatment of healthcare workers, who complain of being overworked and underpaid. Although Taiwan's National Health Insurance is one of the most progressive and successful medical security programs in the world, improvement is badly needed in the working conditions of local healthcare workers, Ma said during a meeting with Judith Shamian, president of the International Council of Nurses. Because the supplementary premium policy imposed recently has helped resolve the program's deficit and ensure that it will remain financially secure until 2016, the government will take advantage of the opportunity and spend part of the extra income on providing better working conditions for healthcare workers, Ma said. He pointed out that over the past 10 years, Taiwan's healthcare sector has experienced very serious problems, such as a nursing shortage and nurses being overworked. While continuing to work to decrease the workload of nurses, the government will spend NT$2 billion (US$66.72 million) next year to raise the pay for nurses next year, after spending NT$2 billion in 2012 and NT$2.5 billion in 2013 for this purpose, he said. These efforts have helped increase the number of nurses in Taiwan from 130,000 to 145,500, and the number is expected to further increase by 9,200 over the next several years, according to the president. (By Kelven Huang and Y.F. Low)
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