By Lee I-chia / Journalist
The National Union of Chinese Physicians’ Associations on Sunday launched an online traditional Chinese medicine card, through which elderly people who have difficulty leaving their homes can access home services.
The association said the rapid aging of Taiwanese society would have a significant effect on the country’s healthcare environment.
Taiwan has been classified as an elderly society – with people aged 65 or over making up over 14% of the population – and is expected to become an old society – with that demographic numbering over 20% by 2025, a- he declared. .
The general secretary of the association Ko Fu-yang (柯富揚) said that this trend will mainly affect the health system in three ways: increased medical expenses, increased risk of drug abuse and increased risk of hospitalization among people. elderly.
People aged 65 and over seek outpatient care on average 26.7 times per year, and 37.2% of them have a prescription for at least one chronic disease drug, the average number of drug prescriptions per person being 4.59, Ko said, adding that 8.39 percent of people that age are prescribed 10 or more drugs.
Demographics represent 35.16% of annual national health insurance spending, he added.
As the elderly are at a higher risk for many diseases and take more prescription drugs, they are also at a higher risk for accidental drug misuse, Ko said.
People aged 65 or older are hospitalized an average of 0.38 times a year, about three times the average for the rest of the population, Ko said.
Common reasons for hospitalization include cancer, urinary tract infections, cerebrovascular disease and cardiovascular disease, he said, adding that traditional Chinese medicine may help relieve some symptoms of these diseases.
Traditional Chinese medicine, along with traditional techniques such as acupuncture and naprapathy, can also improve the health of older people with other conditions, including dementia, and reduce their risk of losing a better quality of life and death. become heavily dependent on caregivers, he said.
A community-based traditional Chinese medicine long-term care network program has been providing home care services to 1,005 people since 2019, especially elderly people who have difficulty leaving their homes, he said.
With its new map online at https://cmmap.wezoomtek.com, people can find contact details for traditional Chinese medicine providers nearby, the association said.
People who need to be discharged from the hospital should ask staff or the local health department to help them get in touch with an appropriate traditional Chinese medicine provider, he added.
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