Thu, Jan 08, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Newspaper runs ad critical of Lin’s TVGH appointment

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The controversy surrounding the appointment of former health minister Lin Fang-yue (林芳郁) as the next superintendent of the Taipei Veterans General Hospital (TVGH) continued after an advertisement appeared in a newspaper yesterday accusing government officials of “shaming the medical field.”

The Executive Yuan’s Veterans Affairs Commission announcement last week of Lin’s appointment as the next superintendent of TVGH will take effect on Jan. 16. However, the decision attracted criticism from current and retired hospital staff because Lin will be the hospital’s first superintendent not promoted from within the VGH system.

Yesterday’s advertisement on the front page of the Chinese-language United Daily News contained a letter criticizing President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九), Department of Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan (葉金川) and Lin for “shaming the medical field” in Taiwan. The advertisement was anonymous, and ran under the name of “a group of humiliated medical staff.”

In the letter, Lin’s appointment was described as “shocking” and “out of the blue.” The letter also urged the Executive Yuan to retract its decision, or the hospital’s top management would advise against Lin’s inauguration.

Yeh denied the appointment was politically motivated and said, “President Ma was not involved in the decision-making.”

“The Executive Yuan has been planning to re-organize Taiwan’s medical facilities, including biomedical developments and medical resources in rural areas,” Yeh said. “Hospitals such as VGH and National Taiwan University Hospital are national hospitals, so there are many areas in which we need the VGH to help us out.”

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