Sat, Sep 09, 2006 - Page 2 News List

KMT attacks government's medical aid to Pacific allies

By Flora Wang  /  STAFF REPORTER

Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Legislator Chu Chun-hsiao, center, yesterday criticizes President Chen Shui-bian for ignoring deteriorating public health in Taiwan while pledging medical aid to diplomatic allies.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

The Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislative caucus fired criticism yesterday at the government's budget for its medical diplomacy in the South Pacific.

KMT Legislator Chu Chun-hsiao (朱俊曉) said at a press conference that the government has spent up to NT$250 billion (US$7.6 billion) supporting other countries over the past six years.

Referring to President Chen Shui-bian's (陳水扁) recent remarks pledging to promote cooperative projects with Taiwan's six South Pacific allies, Chu criticized Chen for ignoring the plight and hardship of people in Taiwan.

"Has the government looked after the health of people here since the Democratic Progressive Party came to power? If not, how can we take care of people in other countries?" Chu said.

He cited statistics from the Department of Health and said the number of people dying of breast cancer, liver cancer and suicide has not decreased since the Bureau of Health Promotion was established in 2001, adding that the nation's suicide rate is "surprising high."

Chen should take care of the worsening health of Taiwanese and the national health insurance deficit before helping the nation's Pacific allies, Chu said.

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