Mon, May 15, 2000 - Page 8 News List

Letters:

Leaders set examples Not long ago, Premier-designate Tang Fei (唐飛) went through a major operation for thymus tumor. His prompt recovery is good evidence of the condition of his health and thus full competence to do his job. However, shortly after discharge, he was again hospitalized for "catching cold" or, in medical terms, an "upper respiratory infection." That is something most doctors would not agree upon. Upper respiratory infections occurs to practically everybody. Some patients may have severe symptoms and may be hampered from doing their jobs, studying or even daily activities. In a country where people tend to expect too much from medical treatment, a lot of such patients come to the hospital and receive intravenous fluid for "energy supplementation," some of them requesting to be admitted for detailed examinations and further treatment. In fact, these patients require neither hospitalization nor intravenous fluids. All they need is good rest for a few days. Their requests, therefore, are reasonably turned down by most doctors. Furthermore, with a deficit rising in the health insurance system, patients for hospital stay are strictly monitored. If a patient is admitted after being diagnosed with an upper respiratory infection, national health insurance payment would be withdrawn. Tang's admission begs the question; "If the premier can do it, why can't we?" This is not the first time political figures have been a poor example to the public. President Lee Teng-hui (李登輝), for example, was admitted for the same reason more than once. Lien Chan (連戰), when he was premiere, even underwent a CAT scan on account of having suffered no more than a minor head injury. The list could go on and on. The public was used to such things in the past. However, with the new president and Cabinet bragging about "a new era," we certainly hope for better examples from our national leaders. It is true that they are all important figures. That is exactly why their behavior could have educational significance. People are watching and learning. What if every patient with a common cold wanted to be hospitalized? As a citizen, I honor Tang and wish him good health. As a doctor, I suggest that he take a good rest and stay away from those ever-troubling journalists and politicians for several days. I only hope he does so in his house instead of the hospital. Jimmy Chang
Hsinchu
Abolish the OCAC Your editorial on the "Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission" (OCAC) was excellent. There are many faults in this commission. The supposed function of it should really be covered in the Consular Affairs Section of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, before abolishing the OCAC, at least its name should be changed to the "Overseas Taiwanese Affairs Commission." Currently, most of the 180 appointed commissioners are not Taiwanese and have nothing to do with Taiwan. Most of the funding and resources go toward "Chinese" who, if anything, have close attachments to China. Most of the Taiwanese have either been blacklisted, or receive minimal support from the OCAC. This is truly a wasteful Cabinet-level ministry for Taiwan. Let's push to have it abolished. In liu of it being abolished, its resources should be drastically reduced, and its focus should shift to overseas Taiwanese. Y.S. Columbus Leo
Toronto, Canada

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