Restrictions on foreign HIV patients canceled
By Joy Lee, The China Post
April 4, 2014, 12:10 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The Executive Yuan passed an amendment to the HIV Infection Control and Patient Rights Protection Act yesterday, canceling the entry, visit, and residence restrictions of HIV patients who are not Taiwanese citizens.
The Executive Yuan will transfer the amendment to the Legislative Yuan for further review.
According to the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW), after taking into consideration the necessity for medical personnel to review and conduct treatments as early as possible, the ministry decided to add an article to the amendment that will allow medical personnel to take samples to do HIV tests without the consents of patients.
Base on article 18 of the HIV Infection Control and Patient Rights Protection Act, the central competent authority may impose examination measures upon aliens, citizens of mainland China and residents of Hong Kong or Macau who have entered the country and stayed for more than three months are required to submit test reports for HIV antibodies.
According to the act, if the test result is positive, the central competent authority shall notify the Ministry of Foreign Affairs or the immigration office to revoke or annul their visas or permits of stay or residence, and order them to leave the country.
The MHW said that in order to respond to the international trend on protecting human rights, this amendment removes the articles that might violate human rights of aliens.
NHI to Pay for Most HIV Treatments
The amendment to the HIV Infection Control and Patient Rights Protection Act will allow the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) to be responsible for most of the HIV treatments for HIV patients who have been taking medicines for over two years, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said yesterday.
Deputy CDC Director Chuang Jen-hsiang (莊人祥) said that once the amendment is approved by the Legislative Yuan, the NHIA will be responsible for HIV treatment fees for patients who have been taking HIV medicine for over two years, while the CDC will pay for the HIV treatment fees for the first two years for new HIV patients.