Taipei,Taiwan's nurse-to-patient ratio will lowered from 4:1 to 3:1 starting next year, President Ma Ying-jeou said Saturday, acknowledging that overwork and fatigue of medical staff was a serious problem that needed to be addressed.
Speaking at a carnival held to raise awareness about medical safety, Ma said the new measure would cut down their workload and reduce their work pressure.
Under the rule, instead of the current 25 nurses taking care of every 100 patients, the number will increase to 34.
An estimated 1,800 caretakers nationwide would be hired, Ma said, adding that a NT$2 billion (US$62.5 million) budget will be allocated for the cause.
In an effort to improve the island's medical environment, Ma also promised to invite medical service users and ordinary people to help evaluate hospitals' quality and performance.
The president likened the concept to having the physically challenged participating in public transport construction and pointing out problems that might not be likely detected by able-bodied people.
The idea is to improve medical care by getting feedback from the users, he said.
Taiwan has seen an increase in cases of people dying from being overworked this year. Among the people most prone to being overworked are medical staff.