What you need to know about COVID-19 telemedicine consultations

Taipei, May 14 (CNA) Taiwan has seen increasing demand for remote telemedicine consultations amid a continued spike in COVID-19 cases.

You may be wondering which healthcare facilities in your area offer virtual medical care services. Here is the directory along with criteria for use, costs, drug collection methods, and other information you need to know.

What platforms can be used to find telemedicine service providers?

1. Health facilities under contract with the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW): You can use the National Health Insurance (NHI) mobile application (Google Android / AppleiOS) or the supplier finder tool created by CNA (in Chinese only) below to find the clinics and hospitals under contract with the MOHWwith which you can make an appointment online or by phone to consult a doctor by video chat on your phone or tablet.

2. Medical institutions responsible for caring for quarantined COVID-19 patients at home: Each local government has its own home quarantine program in which specific hospitals and clinics are dedicated to care for quarantined COVID-19 patients at home, such as Taipei City Hospital in Taipei City. You can access the resource guide compiled by each local government by by calling their dedicated hotline or finding related information on their website.

3. EUCARE (健康益友): You can use the MOHW-supported EUCARE app, a 24-hour emergency platform, to consult doctors, get a digital prescription, and call a nearby NHI-contracted pharmacy for medication. However, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) has called on people to use the various options available to book a virtual medical appointment, and not rely solely on the EUCARE app, to avoid overloading the limited capacity of the ‘application.

Who is eligible for telemedicine teleconsultation?

1. People infected with COVID-19 who need medical consultation or medication.

People infected with COVID-19 who are quarantined at home can schedule a virtual appointment if they have urgent medical issues. They can get a digital prescription and ask their relatives or friends to pick up drugs with the digital prescription or ask pharmacists to deliver the drugs to their homes. If doctors advise that the patient be treated in a hospital, an ambulance will be dispatched for transport, or the patient can call the designated COVID-19 taxi fleet, or use a vehicle driven by relatives or friends.

2. Some people who want to confirm a positive rapid test result.

Three categories of individuals who test positive for COVID-19 via rapid antigen test can be confirmed to be COVID-19 infections via remote diagnosis by physicians at health facilities under contract with the MOHW or authorities local government sanitation.

These are people quarantined at home who are listed by the CECC as close contacts of people infected with COVID-19, people who need to closely monitor their health due to contact with COVID cases. -19 or overseas arrivals subject to mandatory seven-day quarantine. .

If a doctor confirms that a person is infected with COVID-19 and the person has no objection to the diagnosis, the person will be reported to the CECC and listed as a confirmed case. This person will be prohibited from leaving their home and will have to wait at home for the quarantine notification which requires them to quarantine at home for seven days and then follow the protocols for managing their own health for another seven days.

If there is disagreement about a doctor’s diagnosis, the local health authority will schedule an appointment for the user who produces a positive rapid test result to take a PCR test.

Since some people in all three categories may have difficulty accessing telemedicine platforms, either because they are less tech-savvy or because the systems are overloaded, starting May 14, they can donate their NHI card and the test kit used to their relatives or friends to visit a doctor at a designated health facility to get a diagnosis on their behalf.

Which applications support telemedicine services?

When scheduling a doctor’s appointment with telemedicine service providers, you can check with them to confirm which app their service is running on, such as LINE, Skype, or FaceTime; download the apps if you haven’t already installed them and learn how to navigate the system before the appointment.

What documents do you need for a virtual medical consultation?

You must show your NHI card and either your identity card or your residence permit for foreigners (ARC) or your passport, depending on the policy of each hospital, for verification purposes.

You can still use the services if you don’t have your NHI card handy, but you will have to pay the full unsubsidized medical bill. If you present your NHI card to the hospital or clinic within 10 days, you can be reimbursed. However, if you do not have an NHI card because you are not enrolled in the NHI program and cannot book a virtual appointment, you should contact your local health authority directly.

For the three categories of people mentioned above, a notification issued by the health authority regarding their mandatory quarantine and the rapid test kit indicating their positive result are also necessary.

How do you get your medication?

You can ask your relatives or friends to pick up medicine at the hospital you have made a virtual appointment with. They must present your NHI card at a designated COVID-19 patient crossing window and pay the medical bill before they can take prescriptions. You can also ask the hospital for a pharmacist to deliver the medicines to you.

Who is eligible for the free traditional herbal formula known as Taiwan Chingguan Yihau (NRICM101)?

COVID-19 patients can schedule a virtual medical consultation with a Chinese medicine doctor on EUCARE app or any other virtual medical care platform mentioned above and ask the doctor if he can prescribe Taiwan Chingguan Yihau (NRICM101) , a traditional herbal herbal formula developed in Taiwan.

COVID-19 patients can also click the National Association of Chinese Physicians’ website to find a Chinese medicine clinic to get online consultation and prescription. The National Union of Chinese Medical Associations said COVID-19 patients quarantined at home can get the NRICM101 online for free.

What is the cost of remote telemedicine consultations?

The cost of scheduling a doctor’s appointment is the same as you would pay for a regular outpatient appointment and is covered by the NHI. Other expenses are processed according to NHI rules.

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