Tue, Jul 31, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Hospital to rid board of Women’s League elements

By Chen Yu-fu and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Cheng Hsin General Hospital in Taipei’s Beitou District is pictured on July 7.

Photo: Chen Yu-fu, Taipei Times

Cheng Hsin General Hospital is expected to replace four of its board members at an upcoming meeting in an attempt to sever ties with the National Women’s League and avoid confiscation of its assets, an anonymous source said.

The hospital was founded by Chiang Kai-shek’s (蔣介石) wife Soong May-ling (宋美齡), who also founded the league.

The Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee has branded the league an affiliate of the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT), so there is concern among hospital board members that the hospital’s assets could also come under scrutiny, the source said.

Initial investigations by the committee have shown that the hospital’s land was formerly owned by the state and was in 1965 handed over by the Ministry of National Defense for the construction of an orphanage, the source said, adding that the building was constructed with NT$1.52 billion (US$49.66 million) acquired from the league.

The Cheng Hsin Rehabilitation Medical Center (振興復健醫學中心) replaced the Cheng Hsin Orphanage (振興育幼院) in 1967, and in 1970 the medical center was registered as a privately owned foundation.

The committee has uncovered total donations to the hospital over the past 10 years of NT$520 million, which was used to build an administrators’ dormitory and a second wing, the source said.

In 1985, the league donated NT$1 billion to the hospital from the Military Benefit Tax, which was used to add an orthopedics ward, and in 1988 the league and the defense ministry together donated 287,000 bags of military-use concrete for the construction of an on-call room, they said.

Former Women’s League chairwoman Cecilia Koo (辜嚴倬雲) chairs the hospital’s board, which also includes Chen Hsing (陳幸), Chin Shun-ying (秦舜英) and Chao Hsu Lin-hsiu (趙徐林秀), all of whom were found by the committee to have connections with the league, the source said.

Board member Hsih Mei-chang (史美暢), who is the spouse of former minister of foreign affairs Ting Mao-shih (丁懋時), also served as a committee member at the league, they said.

All of the implicated board members are to be replaced, they said, adding that hospital director Lee Shou-tung (李壽東) and former Overseas Community Affairs Council director Chiao Jen-ho (焦仁和) are expected to take over their duties.

Committee spokeswoman Shih Chin-fang (施錦芳) said that the committee would strive to recover NT$38.5 billion of league funds that is says were misappropriated, and that it would continue investigating into the hospital and other foundations associated with the league.

Although the hospital has received donations from the league, it funds its operations independently, a hospital official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

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