The Taiwan High Court rendered the 107-Shang-Kuo-Yi-5 Civil Decision of November 1, 2018 (hereinafter, the “Decision”), holding that since a public hospital which treats patients engages in private economic acts as a private law entity and does not exercise government authority, and that the treatment by a public hospital is a private law contractual relationship, the State Compensation Law certainly does not apply.
According to the facts underlying this Decision, the Appellant asserted as follows. The Appellees were the legal representative, a general practitioner, fee collector and issuer of an emergency medical fee payment notice of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital (hereinafter, the “TVGH”). When the Appellant went to the emergency room of the TVGH for treatment, the above general practitioner of the TVGH refused to see and treat the Appellant. Aware of such a circumstance, the other Appellees, who were not supposed to collect the medical fee from the Appellant, still jointly issued a fraudulent emergency care payment notice and forged a payment demand to collect the medical fee from the Appellant. Since his right was undermined, a complaint was filed to claim damages pursuant to legal provisions such as the State Compensation Law. The original trial court ruled against the Appellant. Dissatisfied, the Appellant filed this appeal.
It was first pointed out in this Decision that the Appellant could not substantiate that the general practitioner of the TVGH had refused to see and treat the Appellant according to his medical history and other relevant materials as retrieved for review, and it was also difficult to conclude that the Appellees jointly forged an emergency care payment notice and a payment demand. Therefore, the Appellant’s assertion that his right was undermined by the Appellees is certainly baseless, and his damages claim against the Appellees pursuant to the principles of tort law was not valid. In addition, the medical treatment provided by the public hospital to the Appellant was a private law economic act engaged by a private law entity, and no government authority was exercised. Treatment by a public hospital is a private law contractual relationship to which the State Compensation Law does not apply. Therefore, the Appellant’s assertion that the TVGH shall be liable for national compensation based on the above facts was certainly unacceptable. Therefore, it was held in this Decision that since the Appellant’s assertions were groundless, his appeal was rejected.