DOH to become ministry
The Department of Health (DOH) is to be officially restructured as the Ministry of Health and Welfare tomorrow, officials said yesterday, adding that this was the department’s most intensive reform since it was founded n 1971. The change is being made so the department can better handle the challenges posed by demographic changes to strengthen healthcare and welfare to provide comprehensive services to all, be it physical, psychological or social, officials said. The department said the reform was in line with an ethos promoted by the WHO that health departments aim to “[ensure] that all people can use the promotive, preventive, curative, rehabilitative and palliative health services they need, of sufficient quality to be effective, while also ensuring that the use of these services does not expose the user to financial hardship.” Other than the department’s present units and five subsidiary bodies, the new ministry will incorporate the Ministry of the Interior’s Department of Social Affairs, Child Welfare Bureau, Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Prevention Committee and National Pension Supervisory Committee. It will also absorb the National Research Institute of Chinese Medicine under the Ministry of Education. Thirteen social welfare institutions under the interior ministry will also be incorporated.
Nauru group to visit
A group of handicapped children and young adults from Nauru will visit next week to learn about Taiwanese culture and meet with physically and mentally challenged Taiwanese, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said. At the invitation of the ministry, the 10 Nauruans, who are either visually or hearing impaired, or physically disabled, will visit from Saturday to Aug. 3. The Taipei-based Eden Social Welfare Foundation has been commissioned to organize the group’s itinerary, the ministry said. During their stay, the group will visit an Eden care center in New Taipei City (新北市),which provides care for dementia patients and the severely handicapped, as well as a center catering specifically to handicapped children in New Taipei City. They will also visit a factory run by Eden in Greater Taichung that trains handicapped people to bake pastries and earn a living, the ministry said. The group will also visit the National Palace Museum and the Yingge Ceramics Museum in New Taipei City.
Quake hits Hualien
An earthquake struck eastern Taiwan early Sunday, with no reports of casualties or damages thus far, reports the Central Weather Bureau. The magnitude 4.1 tremor, according to preliminary reports, occurred at 3:19am with the epicenter at 34.9km north by west of Hualien City Hall and 9.3km underground, the bureau said. The shock was felt in eastern and northern Taiwan, with the highest movement intensity reaching 3, the bureau said.
Baby panda eating well: zoo
Taipei Zoo’s two-week-old panda cub, nicknamed “Rice Meatball” (肉圓), has a great appetite, zoo officials said yesterday in their daily update on the cub’s condition. When feeding time comes, staff first wipe the cub’s mouth and touch its mouth with the nipple of a baby bottle. The cub, which cannot yet see, then starts greedily sucking the milk from the bottle, zoo official Chang Chi-hua (張起華) said. The cub’s hearty appetite is a sign of good health, Chang added. It now weighs 481.6g, more than double the 183.4g it weighed at birth on July 6.