Implications of a Deliberative Participation Perspective for a Right to Health in Taiwan’s National Health Insurance System

Mar 5, 2014 | 12:00 pm

Wu Chuan-feng (Assistant Research Professor, Institutum Iurisprudentiae, Academia Sinica; Assistant Professor, Institute of Health and Welfare Policy, National Yang-Ming University; HYI Visiting Scholar)
Chair and Discussant: Norman Daniels (Mary B. Saltonstall Professor of Population Ethics and Professor of Ethics and Population Health, Department of Global Health and Population, Harvard School of Public Health).

Even though Taiwan has established a universal medical care system through National Health Insurance (NHI) to facilitate equal protection over individuals’ right to health, the right to health is often lost in a sea of other considerations when it comes to healthcare priority-setting policy. For example, one important aspect of the right to health is the population’s participation in all health-related decision-making at the community and national levels. However, the Taiwanese government has failed to establish a substantive deliberative participation process for NHI coverage decisions. Decisions about which drugs and treatments should be made available to NHI are poorly informed by ethical and social values and seldom incorporate community views. Since the contextual exercise of informed choice and democratic deliberation is of particular importance in the healthcare decision-making process, this talk sets out to evaluate the impacts of NHI on the right to health from a deliberative participation perspective.