HEALTHY CONDITIONS?：The report on overworking of
medical staff did not include resident doctors, who are currently not included
in the labor law
By Alison Hsiao / Staff reporter
Wed, Oct 02, 2013 - Page 3
Hospitals have become “sweatshops” that flout labor laws, said the Taiwan
Healthcare Reform Foundation, which has identified 21 hospitals where staff were
overworked, three of which are public hospitals administered by the Ministry of
Health and Welfare.
A report published by the foundation in late August was put in the media
spotlight when Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Lin Shu-fen (林淑芬) called
the ministry’s supervision into question by citing the report at the
legislature’s plenary session on Monday.
The foundation and other groups asked the government two years ago to list
and make public the names of employers who have been found to have violated the
Labor Standards Act (勞動基準法).
Collecting the data for last year and this year provided by local
governments, which is now publicly available online, the group said they found
21 hospitals in violation of the act, including three government hospitals in
Chiayi, Fengyuan and Taitung and branch hospitals of the National Taiwan
University Hospital, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital and Veterans General
The report also said that, with the market for cosmetic surgery continuing to
grow, an aesthetic medicine clinic in Taipei was also listed as having
overworked its staff.
The head of the foundation’s research and development Chu Hsieh-kuang (朱顯光)
said that the overworking of medical staff mentioned in the report does not
include resident doctors, who are not included in the labor law.
“The workers we are talking about here are nurses, pharmacists, physical
therapists, radiologists, etc,” Chu said, adding that doctors have been calling
for their inclusion in the act.
“In response, the government has worried the public by saying that the
expansion of the scope of the law would result in dire consequences, such as a
shortage of doctors,” he said.
However doctors’ calls have been heard, as “lawmakers have demanded the
ministry provide quantified assessment and analysis on the said impact [of
including physicians in the laobor law] within three months,” Chu said.