The Director-General of the Department of Health, Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday implied that he will quit the position at the end of this year. \nUrging Deputy Minister Chang Hung-jen (張鴻仁) to stay on the job to tackle the thorny issue of national health insurance, Chen expressed his wish to return to the academic field in December. \nChang tendered his resignation earlier this week after the health insurance coverage allocation system triggered a strong backlash from regional hospitals, which complained that the allocation of medical resources under the system is unfair. \nDuring the SARS epidemic last year, Chen was asked to temporarily set aside his research position as a professor of public health at National Taiwan Normal University and take up the director-general post. \n"Research is my life," Chen told reporters before he gave a speech on the impact of arsenic on human health yesterday morning. "Out of a sense of duty, I reported to the [director-general] post," Chen said. "I know much reform to the national health insurance system needs to take place," he said. \nChen also said that he will recruit a public panel to discuss reforms by the end of December. \n"The citizen panel can decide on a direction for the new director-general to follow," he said. \n"With the our insurance system now at the moment of crisis, it is my sincerest hope that Chang can stay on to assist in reform." \nChen said he hopes that holding the civic meeting will come to a consensus on reforming the health insurance program -- which has been operating at a loss -- before he leaves the department. \nHe said the department is currently planning to hold the civic meeting in December after representatives of the meeting are selected in November.
A Taipei veterinarian is urging pet owners to avoid using insecticides around their homes, as their ingredients can be toxic to pets. Commercial-grade insecticides contain pyrethroids — organic compounds similar to natural pyrethrins, pesticides produced by flowers such as chrysanthemums — in quantities that are harmless to humans, but potentially fatal to cats and dogs, Asian Veterinary Specialist Referral Center veterinarian Chua Man-ling (蔡曼琳) said. Even in small quantities, pyrethroids are hazardous to cats, as they lack the metabolic enzymes needed to process them, Chua said. Cockroach sprays and ant traps are especially dangerous to pets as they contain boric acid, she
People should avoid eating too many zongzi (粽子, glutinous rice wrapped in bamboo leaves), as consuming several in one meal could cause indigestion, bloating, gastric acid reflux, heartburn and other stomach ailments, a doctor said on Saturday. Zongzi is a traditional delicacy for the Dragon Boat Festival, which was on Thursday. Citing a recent case as an example, Cathay General Hospital gastroenterology department head Chu Yu-ming (朱淯銘) said that a 58-year-old taxi driver surnamed Hsiao (蕭) ate meals at irregular hours due to his work and has been taking diabetes medicine for three years. Hsiao recently bought a bag of zongzi and ate
DREAMING OF TRAVEL: About 7,000 people applied for the experience, with about 60 chosen for the first flight yesterday, which includes boarding an airplane Starved of the travel experience during COVID-19? Taipei International Airport (Songshan airport) has the solution — a fake itinerary where you check in, go through passport control and security, and even board the aircraft. You just never leave. The airport yesterday began offering travelers the chance to do just that, with about 60 people eager to get going, albeit to nowhere. About 7,000 people applied to take part, with the winners chosen by random. More fake flight experiences are to take place in the coming weeks. “I really want to leave the country, but because of the pandemic, lots of flights cannot fly,”
A DEPRIVATION? The Taiwan Higher Education Union said the program, which drew much student criticism, undermined students' right to an education The Taiwan Higher Education Union on Monday accused Ming Chuan University (MCU) of sacrificing its students’ right to education by altering the English-language instruction for first-year students. The university, which has long emphasized the value that it places on English-language education, in the 2019-2020 academic year changed its English program for first-year students to a combination of self-learning through online videos and weekly lab sessions, during which students would take online tests, the union said. The change has deprived more than 3,000 students of in-person instruction and of interaction with their teachers, the union added. The online program drew much criticism from students