3 months' free treatment for water park blaze victims: Taiwan health ministry

3 months' free treatment for water park blaze victims: Taiwan health ministry
People carry an injured victim from an accidental explosion during a music concert at the Formosa Water Park in New Taipei City.
PHOTO: Reuters

TAIPEI - The Ministry of Health and Welfare (MHW) said yesterday that victims of the Formosa Fun Coast Water Park explosions will get three months of free medical treatment, including seven medical procedures that are not covered by National Health Insurance.

The government will consider how to handle the substantial funds involved in the medical processes, but in principle they will not let family members pay the fees, said MHW Minister Chiang Been-huang.

The Executive Yuan will negotiate with the New Taipei City Government to decide how to take care of victims in the future and alleviate the burden on victims' families.

Additional Aid

Director of the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) Huang San-kuei said that for burn patients, as long as they have related medical needs, whether they are victims of the powder explosions or not, they are all covered by the health insurance system. As for water park victims, New Taipei City and the NHIA have already coordinated to solve the matter.

New Taipei City has promised to pay victims' insurance fees to the NHIA, and will not ask for reimbursement from family members, said Huang.

Before the Formosa Fun Coast Water Park explosions, 196 people were hospitalised for severe burns in Taiwan in 2015, said Huang. The monthly medical fees for each person is about NT$5,000-NT$300,000 (S$219-S$13,167). Biological dressings and artificial skin are the two most costly expenditures for burn victims, according to Huang.

As for fees for sanitary wrappings and tissue paper that some of the victims' families have asked the government to pay for, Huang said these items are not covered by the National Health Insurance.

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