Thu, May 11, 2017 - Page 3 News List

WHA missing out, health workers say

A LOT TO OFFER:Taiwan has one of the best health-insurance systems worldwide and if leaders care about health, they should let the nation to attend, a doctor said

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Representatives from 15 healthcare associations yesterday announced a joint statement, urging the WHO to formally invite Taiwan to attend the upcoming World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, this month.

“WHA needs Taiwan, Taiwan needs WHA,” healthcare professionals chanted at a news conference in Taipei yesterday morning, at which they strongly expressed their desire to contribute their professional skills to the world and not to be left out of global health issues.

The Ministry of Health and Welfare on Tuesday confirmed that Taiwan had not yet received an official invitation to attend the WHA this year, after eight years of being invited as an observer under the name “Chinese Taipei.”

“On behalf of nearly 300,000 professionals in 15 healthcare associations, we express deep disappointment over the situation,” Taiwan Medical Association president Chiu Tai-yuan (邱泰源) said. “As active participants in the global healthcare community, we have much to give.”

Taiwan contributes much to the global immunization initiative and is among the leaders in healthcare and medicine in Asia and worldwide. Many academic and humanitarian goals have been accomplished by the long-term efforts of the nation’s healthcare professionals.

“We believe our experience in healthcare is valuable for other countries and the issues we are facing merit attention and assistance from the rest of the world,” Chiu said. “We are very disappointed. It is unfair for the people of Taiwan and the rest of the world.”

The nation’s pharmaceutical care system allows National Health Insurance-covered pharmacists to provide care to communities and households, and that experience should be shared with the global community, Taiwan Pharmacist Association chairman Yang Ying-bi (楊瑛碧) said.

Health is a fundamental human right, and based on the principle of reciprocity, Taiwan should not be excluded from an international health organization, Taiwan Dental Association chairman Albert Chen (陳義聰) said.

“Health professionals should be respected,” he said. “Excluding Taiwan from participating will cause a gap in the global disease prevention network.”

Taiwan has one of the best health-insurance systems in the world, and leaders of other nations should consider the importance of their people’s health, and allow Taiwan, which has many outstanding medical achievements, to attend the WHA, to prevent a shortfall in global disease prevention,” National Union of Chinese Medical Doctors’ Association of Republic of China chairman Chen Wang-chuan (陳旺全) said.

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