Volunteerism versus bureaucracy
On October 18, 2916, OB/GYN Shih Jing-chung at the Taiwan University Hospital helped a high risk pregnant woman give birth. On October 17, 2016, an ultrasound scan showed there was placenta accreta and a high risk of massive bleeding and disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC). The doctor decided to use expensive medication to prevent the possibility of massive bleeding. This medication however is not covered by the Taiwan Health Insurance Bureau. It was specifically eliminated from medical compensation coverage in July of 2014. The poor woman who lives on a low pension has been forced to pay. The delivery was successful after OB/GYN Shih Jing-chung assembled a team of four anesthesiologists, a urologist, a radiologist and a pediatrician on standby. Their services were all volunteered since the Health Insurance Bureau has denied payment for their services as well as for the expensive anti-bleeding medication.
This decision to deny payment is now being severely criticized by the medical profession as well as by legislators. A doctor named Hung Hao-yun accused the officials at the bureau as “trashy officials”, a dentist named Shih Shu-tsang criticized the bureau of playing a “double face game” and treating medical personnel as “idiots”.
OB/GYN Shih Jing-chung said the surgery was like “dismantling a live bomb”. The story about his experience and the denial by the Health Insurance Bureau has been viewed 290,000 times on Facebook and the story has been shared by 22,000 viewers within half a day.