Abstract: People`s institutionalized mutual assistance in sharing health risks, in a variety of forms of publicly funded health systems, is a collective (re-)allocation of responsibility for care which is presumed to be sustained by social solidarity. Despite the fact that the National Health Insurance in Taiwan has become a stable system and enjoys an overall high satisfaction rate among the people – even becoming an element of Taiwanese identity – health sector solidarity as a socio-ethical sentiment has received limited empirical research attention. This knowledge gap warrants further investigation because health systems are facing challenges such as population aging, economic stagnation, and advancing medical technologies and new drugs, along with increased public expectations. If health sector solidarity does not exist, unjustified health system reforms might distort the original goals of sharing health risks, and even encourage xenophobic sentiment and stigmatization against certain populations. On the other hand, if health sector solidarity does exist, health systems and reforms could be better sustained. This project, therefore, aims to empirically investigate the forms and contents of health sector solidarity in Taiwan. It contributes intellectually to the solidarity studies literature as well as practically to future health reform. The project explores the comparative experiences of Taiwanese who have worked or studied abroad and engaged with the health system of the host country; and their understandings and judgments on health sector solidarity and responsibility for care.
National Health Insurance