Thu, Jun 05, 2014 - Page 3 News List

Improve Kinmen Hospital: DPP

HELP AT HAND:Responding to the DPP councilor’s plea, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said it is already working to improve the facilities at Kinmen Hospital

By Loa Iok-sin  /  Staff reporter

Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chao Tien-lin, left, and DPP Kinmen County Councilor Chen Tsang-chiang speak at a press conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday, calling on the government to provide better medical services in Kinmen.

Photo: Liu Hsin-de, Taipei Times

With a hundreds of patients having to be sent to Taiwan proper for treatment — which sometimes puts their lives at risk — Kinmen County residents yesterday urged the government to improve medical facilities in the county.

“We, the people of Kinmen, are paying taxes like others living on Taiwan proper and we are not asking for much,” Democratic Progressive Party Kinmen County Councilor Chen Tsang-chiang (陳滄江) told a press conference at the Legislative Yuan in Taipei yesterday.

“We are only humbly asking to enjoy the same amount of medical resources as those living on Taiwan proper,” Chen said.

Citing official figures from the Kinmen County Department of Health, Chen said that, on average, more than 300 people in the county had to be regularly sent by military transport aircraft to Taiwan proper for medical treatment in the past three years, while 80 to 100 people were sent to Taiwan proper by helicopter for emergency medical treatment.

Chen said that a man in Kinmen was suffering from a cardiovascular problem which needed an emergency operation which could not be performed in Kinmen. The case was reported at 11pm, but he was not picked up by helicopter until 3:10am and he arrived at a hospital in Taipei after 5am the next morning.

“Another man passed away during the wait for a helicopter,” Chen said.

“This is why there is an urgent need for better medical facilities in Kinmen — and before such facilities are made available, we need helicopters stationed in Kinmen, ready to transfer patients at all times,” he added.

Responding to the complaint, the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Department of Nursing and Healthcare Director-General Teng Su-wen (鄧素文) said that the ministry has already targeted the issue and has begun to improve medical facilities in Kinmen.

“We’ve already started building a new annex at the ministry’s Kinmen Hospital, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of the year,” Teng said. “We will equip the new building with better and newer equipment to provide better service to Kinmen residents.”

In addition, Teng said that the ministry has asked Kinmen students currently attending medical schools in Taiwan proper on full scholarships to return to Kinmen County after completing their studies.

“We understand the problem that Kinmen residents face and we are working to make it better,” Teng said.

Commenting on Chen’s request to have helicopters permanently stationed in Kinmen, Duty Command Center Director of the National Airborne Service Corps Lin Cheng-hsun (林政勳) said it would not be possible.

“We have a total of 25 helicopters, with only 10 of them capable of crossing the Taiwan Strait,” Lin said. “These aircraft are stationed at different locations in Taiwan, so it’s not likely that we would have extra helicopters that could be stationed [permanently] in Kinmen.”

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