Mon, Aug 26, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Lee's deputy favorite to head DOH

SUCCESSOR Lee Ming-liang has revealed a list of candidates to take over his job as head of the Department of Health and Twu Shiing-jer is the leading contender

By Chang Yu-jung  /  STAFF REPORTER

Department of Health (DOH) Director-General Lee Ming-liang (李明亮) yesterday revealed some of the candidates to take over his position after the Executive Yuan approved his resignation on Friday.

According to Lee, DOH Deputy Director-General Twu Shiing-jer (涂醒哲), Bureau of National Health Insurance CEO Chang Hung-jen (張鴻仁), Koo Foundation Sun Yat-Sen Cancer Center director Andrew Huang (黃達夫) and former superintendent of National Taiwan University Hospital Hsieh Po-sheng (謝博生) are on the list of candidates Lee has presented to Premier Yu Shyi-kun.

Local Chinese-language media have also suggested that former minister without portfolio Chen Jin-huang (陳錦煌), Kaohsiung City health bureau director Chen Yung-Hsing (陳永興) and National Taiwan University Hospital superintendent Chen Ting-hsin (陳定信) are possible candidates.

Twu, who only took on his position two months ago, is regarded as the leading candidate because of his close ties to the president.

Since Lee's resignation will take effect on the same day the government raises the amount people pay into the National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme, and the first day of registration for the next session of the Legislative Yuan, opposition lawmakers yesterday criticized him for trying to dodge his responsibilities.

"If Lee leaves office on the same day the new scheme [to raise NHI payments] starts, who should be responsible for the results of the new policy?" PFP Legislator Lin Hui-kuan (林惠官) said yesterday at a press conference organized by him and two other PFP lawmakers -- Shen Chih-hui (沈智慧) and Fu Kun-chih (傅崑萁).

Lin also accused Lee of "trying to evade lawmakers' criticism and supervision [of the new NHI payment scheme] because he will leave office on the day when a new legislative session starts."

In response, Lee said he had not chosen to resign suddenly but that it had been an "ongoing process" since he first mentioned his intention to resign in February.

"The policies and directions of the rise in NHI payments has been set so that whoever takes over the post will not be confused," Lee said.

Lee was also criticized for a remark he made on Saturday, in which he said: "The hardest thing for me in being a government official is that I cannot tell the truth and I cannot lie either."

Shen said that someone with a clear conscience should speak the truth before leaving office.

"Since Lee enjoys a good reputation in society, he cannot leave when so many details [regarding NHI reform] have been left unresolved," Shen said.

In response, Lee told reporters yesterday, "What I meant was that I could not tell [the truth] when the policies had not been decided yet. As for the lies, I am just saying that I am not someone who lies."

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