Taiwan Joined the International Research Team that Publish the World’s First Paper on Telepsychiatric Treatment during the COVID-19 Pandemic
Date：January 29, 2021
Dr. Kuan-Pin Su, Vice-superintendent of China Medical University-An Nan Hospital, and Dr. Chun-Hung Chang, Director of Psychiatry Department, participated in an international research team that investigated the telepsychiatric condition in various countries during the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the world’s first research that focus on global telepsychiatry, and their findings “Changes in telepsychiatry regulations during the COVID-19 pandemic: 17 countries and regions' approaches to an evolving healthcare landscape” was published in the international journal Psychological Medicine.
To prevent the spread of the pandemic, telemedicine enables the isolated patients to get treatment from doctors. This research have shown that it is possible to perform telepsychiatric treatment in the public medical system in every country. Over 70% of the countries have loosen the regulation for telemedicine due to the pandemic, and in some countries even the regulation for prescription drugs is loosened. In addition, in 90% of the countries, the payment for telemedicine during pandemic is the same as seeing the doctor in person.
Moreover, most of the countries that participated in the survey are modifying the regulations for telemedicine that were previously restricted before the pandemic. These research findings can assist the legislation of future policies and regulations, and further promote the application of telepsychiatry in the world.
“Before the pandemic, telemedicine in Taiwan can only be carried out under special circumstances, in certain rural areas, and with the approval by the authorities of the county/city. Since the pandemic, to provide health care for the people under home quarantine and home isolation, the Ministry of Health and Welfare had already loosened the regulation for telemedicine, allowing people to seek for medical help in designated hospitals through video communication.” said Dr. Kuan-Pin Su.