Hospital Governance: The Key to the Protection of Labor Rights of Medical Professionals
Whether the Labor Standard Law should cover medical doctors or not is a heated debate in Taiwan over the years. Some groups of medical doctors strongly ask for its coverage but to no avail until the end of 2016 when the government declared this Law applies to all employed doctors starting in 2020. It is anticipated that there will be substantial negotiations and regulations to be revised with regard to the working conditions such as working hours, leaves, overtime, etc. in the following three years. This paper aims to remind medical doctors’ groups and judicial system that the coverage of employed doctors into labor standard law, though an overdue motion, is not able to guarantee the labor rights protection of doctors unless the issue of hospital governance is to be addressed.
There are four types of hospitals, namely public hospitals, private clinics and hospitals, foundational hospitals, and corporate hospitals. Those foundational hospitals are the target of our analysis for its fast development in number and in size, most of them being medical centers, taking up a significant share of insurance resources. Hospital governance has received international attention in the past decade due to the fact the corruption of health system and commercialization of health care services turn the hospital to the direction that cannot fulfill its mission but harm people instead. Studies show that foundational hospitals in Taiwan are turning away from their solemn mission leading to hospital governance as a big concern. The issue of good hospital governance is one of the keys to rescuing hospitals from corruption and functioning as life guarding and quality enhancing units of the society.