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May 26, 2017

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Taiwan ranked 45th in global health care access and quality index

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- Taiwan has been ranked 45th among 195 countries and territories for personal health-care access and quality in 2015 in a study published in The Lancet medical journal on Thursday.

The study created a Healthcare Access and Quality (HAQ) Index to measure health-care access and quality in the countries and territories surveyed from 1990 to 2015. The index is based on death rates for 32 diseases that can be avoided with effective medical care.

They included tuberculosis and other respiratory infections; diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus and measles, all illnesses that can be prevented with vaccines; and treatable cancer and heart disease.

Taiwan was listed 45th, with a score of 77.6, according to the study.

It performed relatively well on diarrheal diseases (95 on a scale of 100), upper respiratory infections (98), diptheria (100), maternal disorders (95), testicular cancer (93), and Hodgkin's lymphoma (84) but had relatively low scores for the measles (80), hypertensive heart disease (60), and chronic kidney disease (50).

The top 10 in the overall index were Andorra (95), Iceland (94), Switzerland (92), Sweden (90), Norway (90), Australia (90), Finland (90), Spain (90), the Netherlands (90) and Luxembourg (89.3).

The highest ranking countries in East and Southeast Asia were Japan (11th with a score of 89.0), Singapore (21st, 86.3), and South Korea (23rd, 85.8), followed by Taiwan. China was ranked 60th with a score of 74.2.

During the period from 1990 to 2015, nearly all countries and territories saw their HAQ Index values improve but the gap between the highest and lowest HAQ Index levels was wider in 2015 than in 1990 -- ranging from 28.6 to 94.6, the study said.

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