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National Health Insurance celebrates 19 years

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The National Heath Insurance Administration (NHIA, 中央健康保險署) held a charity event in Kaohsiung yesterday to celebrate the 19th anniversary of the implementation of the National Health Insurance (NHI, 全民健康保險) program.

Held at the Kaoshiung Cultural Center yesterday, the Kaohsiung and Pingtung divisions of the NHIA hosted a charity event to promote proper procedures for seeking medical assistance and to instill the concept of proper medication in commemoration of the anniversary.

Implemented in March of 1995, NHI was first designed to provide health coverage to the entire nation. Since then, NHI has gone through various upgrades, including the tracking of individuals' full medical histories using their IC card as well as expanding benefits to ARC residents of Taiwan.

The charity event provided children with free dental checkups from the Taiwan Dental Association in addition to outlining the proper procedures for seeking medical treatment — owing to the convenience of the NHI system, a trend of abuse has been noted.

The administration also reportedly plans to complete a “Health Passbook” (健康存摺) next year to commemorate the 20th anniversary of NHI, allowing the general public to print out their medical records to have a clear understanding of the kinds of treatments they've undergone.

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