Thu, Dec 30, 2004 - Page 3 News List

Taiwan Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Politics

Welcome Lee back: Alliance

The Alliance to Campaign for Rectifying the Name of Taiwan, a pro-independence group, yesterday held a news conference to urge people to welcome former president Lee Teng-hui (李登輝) back from Japan at the CKS Airport on Sunday. The alliance said that the people of Taiwan should cordially welcome Lee, who is slated to arrive back in Taipei at 7pm on Sunday evening from Osaka, Japan. Alliance leader Peter Wang (王獻極) said that Lee's successful journey to Japan showed Taiwan's unyielding fight for international recog-nition, despite China's oppo-sition, and should receive the entire nation's support.

■ Politics

KMT awaits verdict

In delivering its verdict on the pan-blue camp's election lawsuit today, the Taiwan High Court will hopefully make a decision that future generations will be proud of, Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Chairman Lien Chan (連戰) said yesterday. Speak-ing at the KMT's weekly Central Standing Committee meeting, Lien also made references to the recent success of Ukrainian oppo-sition factions in overturning the results of their nation's presidential election as a model the high court should emulate. The Taiwan High Court is set to deliver its verdict on the election lawsuit this afternoon. The lawsuit seeks to nullify March's presidential-election results on the basis of procedural irregularities and is the second election-related lawsuit brought by the pan-blue camp. The first lawsuit, which contested the legitimacy of President Chen Shui-bian (陳水扁) and Vice President Annette Lu's (呂秀蓮) election, was rejected by the Taiwan High Court early last month and is under appeal.

■ Health

Smoking hotline wants you

In a bid to help the nation's 4.5 million smokers break the habit, the Bureau of Health Promotion yesterday called on the public to make use of the smokers' helpline 0800-63-63-63 on its second anniver-sary. "This is the first hotline in Asia to assist people with quitting smoking. Smokers in Taiwan can seek not only medical advice from doctors but also support from our counselors," helpline spokes-man Chang Te-tsung (張德聰) said. Official statistics show that 17,000 people die of smoking-related diseases every year, or one person every half hour. Although one-third of the smoking popu-lation has tried to quit, the success rate is lower than 2 percent, the statistics showed. "To get rid of an addiction requires will power and mental support from pro-fessionals, and we are here to help," said Chen Chien-hung (陳建泓), a counselor with the helpline. Last year, the center assisted 1,200 callers in kicking the habit. However, 85 percent of these started smoking again within a year.

■ Health

IC cards contain new data

National Health Insurance IC cards will from Saturday record information of major physical examinations and prescriptions for patients with chronic diseases, Bureau of National Health Insurance officials said yesterday. The new function will help the bureau monitor repeat pre-scriptions and examinations and prevent a waste of medical resources, bureau head Liu Chien-hsiang (劉見祥) said. The new monitoring system was announced in the wake of reports that some chronic patients have visited different hospitals to obtain extra prescriptions and give them away to family and friends in China or sell them to other people. Repetition of expensive procedures such as tomography scanning is also very common.

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