The Department of Health (DOH) said it would set up a project in August to pave the way for Taiwanese doctors licensed overseas to return to Taiwan to practice, in an effort to help reverse the brain drain in the profession.
Taiwanese practicing in the UK, the US, Japan, New Zealand and Australia, but who had qualified as doctors before moving abroad, will be allowed to work as general practitioners without having to first obtain a license to practice, Department of Health Minister Chiu Wen-ta (邱文達) said.
Under the proposed project, qualified Taiwanese doctors who are licensed as physicians, surgeons, gynecologists/obstetricians, pediatricians or emergency room doctors in the five countries will be given a temporary license in their specialized field, he said.
After three years of service in remote areas of Taiwan, those doctors will then be able to obtain specialist licenses for the whole country, he added. The current regulations stipulate that specialists trained in Taiwan have to undergo refresher or credit courses every six years to keep their specialist licenses valid.
Wang Tsung-hsi (王宗曦), deputy director-general of the department’s Bureau of Medical Affairs, said the project applied only to Taiwanese doctors with valid licenses in the five countries and who had qualified as doctors in Taiwan before moving abroad.
Department spokesman Wang Che-chao (王哲超) cited his uncle as an example.
Wang said his uncle, surnamed Su (蘇), is a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist in the US. Su has expressed many times over the years his willingness to return to Taiwan and practice in remote areas that are seriously in need of gynecologists, Wang said, but Taiwan does not recognize licenses obtained in the US.
Su said there might be up to 1,000 doctors overseas who share a similar dream of returning to Taiwan.