Aim: The aim of this study is to estimate how much scintigraphy the population will need in a well-developed healthcare system with fairly equitable access to healthcare. Methods: This is a retrospective population-based study. The data used came from Taiwan's National Health Insurance reimbursement claims dataset, the National Account compiled by Taiwan's Statistical Bureau of the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting and Statistics, and the National Health Account by Taiwan's Department of Health from 2001 to 2005. Frequency and expenditure variables were derived from these datasets. Results: The annual scintigraphy use rate in Taiwan was 13.57/1000 people from 2001-2005. On average, expenditures for scintigraphy accounted for 0.24% of National Health Insurance expenditures, 0.13% of the nation's total health expenditures and 0.00008% of the gross domestic product of Taiwan. The ratio of scintigraphy to computed tomography use was 0.37 and the scintigraphy to magnetic resonance imaging ratio was 1.14. The ratio of expenditures for scintigraphy and computed tomography was 0.23 and that for scintigraphy and magnetic resonance imaging was 0.36. Conclusion: A comparative approach is useful for assessing healthcare needs. Although the Taiwanese experience might not apply to all countries, the results of this study can serve as an international benchmark for assessing the need for scintigraphy in countries around the world.
ASJC Scopus subject areas