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The Taiwanese health minister has issued an apology after claiming single people should pay more for a medical plan because they have a higher risk of mental illness, expatriates may be interested to hear.
Yaung Chih-liang made the comments earlier this month while at a meeting about proposals put forward to reform the national healthcare programme.
The changes are designed to encourage the population of Taiwan to start families, potentially by requiring single people to pay higher rates for their medical insurance.
The minister, replying to a question on whether single people are more at risk of developing mental problems, said: "Statistically, it is correct.
"Generally speaking it’s safer to be in a family. [You’re] less likely to get mental illness. So everybody please start a family as soon as possible," he said.
The island’s population stands at 23 million but just 191,310 babies were born there last year, the Telegraph reported. The birth rate in 2009 stood at 8.29 per 1,000 people compared with a global average of more than 20 births per 1,000 people.
Expatriates thinking of moving to Taiwan could consider taking out international health insurance to protect against high medical costs.
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