Thu, Jun 08, 2006 - Page 4 News List

Medical mission heads to Marshalls

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The first mobile medical mission to the country's south Pacific allies is embarking on overseas service to the Marshall Islands today.

A project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first mission includes 14 medical specialists from the Wan-fan Medical Center and the International Cooperation and Development Fund, who will offer free medical assistance on the islands for two weeks.

The medical team includes experts in surgery, internal medicine, orthopedics, ophthalmology, family care, pharmaceuticals and anesthesiology.

Li Chuan-tung (李傳通), director-general of the ministry's Department of East Asian and Pacific Affairs, said that the ministry, together with the fund and the Department of Health, had been planning the mission since early this year.

The project will send a total of nine medical teams from different hospitals to the Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Kiribati, Palau, the Solomon Islands and Nauru.

Shao Li-chung (邵立中), the fund's deputy secretary-general, said that fund was inspired by its desire to employ the country's rich medical resources to show the international community that "we can make a contribution."

"Taiwan was indebted to its allies in the past and now is the time to pay back the favor," Shao said.

Daniel Hu (胡惇卜), another deputy secretary-general at the fund, said that he believed the mobile mission could help build up the country's image in the international community.

Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達), president of Wan-fang Medical Center, called the mission "a seeding job" and "a bridge" to the country's future medical cooperation with the Marshall Islands.

Marshall Islands ambassador Alexander Carter Bing said that the medical mission from Taiwan could help promote mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries.

Commenting on the limited medical resources on the Mar-shall Islands, Li said that the Taiwanese mission could help improve the medical standard on the islands.

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