To ensure convenient medical visits for local residents in Penghu islands, the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) initiated the Integrated Delivery System Program (IDS program) in Penghu islands in 1998. In the past 25 years, the IDS program has successfully provided healthcare for residents in the mountain areas and offshore islands and developed a localized service model.
Starting from 2021, the NHIA has covered relevant expenses for telemedicine to incentivize the hospitals and clinics in the mountain areas, offshore islands, and remote areas to provide ophthalmology, ENT, and dermatology consultations and emergency medical care via video calls with other medical facilities. In 2022, cardiology, gastroenterology, neurology, and chest division have been included in remote consultations and visitation service as part of the home healthcare integrated program for mountain areas and offshore islands has been added.
The IDS program has effectively improved the convenience of medical visits, provided primary care, and strengthened chronic care for residents in Penghu islands. In the past few years, the importance of telemedicine has been greatly highlighted due to the Covid-19 pandemics. Remote consultations using video calls allow medical specialists in medical centers on Taiwan island to see patients living on offshore islands, which in turn, helps mending the healthcare gap and improving healthcare quality in offshore island.