Taipei, Aug. 5 (CNA) Acute and chronic kidney disease remained Taiwan's most costly disease in 2017, costing the nation over NT$50 billion (US$1.6 billion) in insurance payments, according to the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) Sunday.
According to NHIA statistics, the disease cost a total of NT$50.36 billion last year by 358,000 patients last year, compared with NT$48.38 billion by 320,000 patients a year earlier.
Of the 2017 total, haemodialysis alone cost NT$43.3 billion with 87,000 patients claiming the need for it, NHIA analysis showed.
The second most costly disease last year was salivary gland diseases which cost NT$44.323 billion by 11.49 million patients, followed by diabetes, costing NT$29.69 by 1.49 million patients.
The fourth most costly disease was acute upper respiratory tract infection which cost NT$25.37 billion with 13.95 million patients, hypertension (NT$23.77 billion by 2.39 million patients) and gastro-intestinal cancer (NT$19.15 billion by 169,000 patients), NHIA statistics showed.
Cerebrovascular disease was the seventh most costly disease, costing NT$18.26 billion by 406,000 patients, followed by ischemic heart disease (NT$17.98 billion by 551,000 patients) and influenzal bronchopneumonia (NT$14.60 billion by 1.65 million patients), NHIA statistics pointed out.
Schizophrenia and delusional disorders squeezed in as the last of the top 10 most costly diseases, costing NT$12.70 billion with 134,000 patient after edging out other respiratory disease.
Tsai Shu-ling (???), NHIA deputy director general, said the top 10 money costing diseases were related to an aging population, as the medical costs for chronic kidney disease, hypertension, hyperglycaemia, hyperlipidaemia, cancer, cardiovascular disease and pneumonia rise as the population ages, which is similar to the medical expenses in other advanced countries.
Acute renal failure and chronic kidney disease has been the most costly disease for many years because when hypertension, hyperglycaemia and hyperlipidaemia were not properly controlled, they may lead to kidney failure over time, Tsai explained.
In the past, Taiwanese people were not familiar with mental illnesses but they have gained a better understanding about the condition, with the NHIA recording more visits for mental illnesses.
That's why schizophrenia and delusional disorders have made it to the top 10, she said.
Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel
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