Sat, Apr 07, 2007 - Page 2 News List

Hospitals sign deal to cooperate on medical research

STAFF WRITER , WITH CNA

Two of the nation's leading hospitals -- National Taiwan University (NTU) Hospital and Taipei Veterans General (TVG) Hospital -- have struck a wide-ranging cooperation deal aimed at increasing Taiwan's profile in the world medical community.

Under the terms of the cooperative agreement reached on Wednesday, each hospital will contribute NT$10 million (US$301,932) for the implementation of 12 joint research projects over the next few years, including genetic treatment and technologies as well as neurological repair and rehabilitation.

Although the long-time rivals have collaborated on certain minor research projects in the past, this deal marks the first time that the two hospitals will jointly conduct a number of critical research programs.

"The large-scale cooperation agreement was conceived out of a common purpose: relieving the pain of disease," NTU Hospital superintendent Lin Fang-yue (林芳郁) said.

Lin said that the two hospitals had collaborated in hepatitis B vaccine clinical tests before.

"Under the new cooperation pact, previous case-based cooperation will be transformed into hospital-wide collaboration to enhance operational efficiency," he said.

For his part, TVG superintendent Lee Liang-hsiung (李良雄) said it was meaningless for the two hospitals to compete with each other in the domestic domain.

"What matters is international competition. All domestic medical institutions should pool their wisdom and resources to sharpen our competitive edge in the world arena; otherwise, we may find ourselves marginalized in the highly competitive medical world," Lee said.

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