Taipei pathology institute marks 30th anniversary

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Mon, Jul 15, 2013 - Page 3

The Taipei Institute of Pathology yesterday reviewed its achievements in the medical field and looked ahead to a future with more advanced medical technologies as it marked its 30th anniversary.

Vice President Wu Den-yih (吳敦義), Taipei Mayor Hau Lung-bin (郝龍斌) and Department of Health Deputy Minister Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) attended the anniversary ceremony in Taipei.

Taipei Institute of Pathology president Chen Chiung-sung (陳炯松) said the facility’s medical team is comprised of 32 physicians and more than 10 pathologists who work as consultants.

“Entrusted by the Bureau of Health Promotion, the institute is responsible for one-third of newborn screenings, rare disease and cervical cancer examinations, as well as blood heavy metal testing conducted nationwide,” Chen said.

“On average, we carry out 250,000 biochemical tests, 170,000 cell-based screening tests and 42,000 surgical pathology tests a year,” Chen said.

Chen said that over the past three decades, the facility has subsidized medical research, such as analytical research on chromosome aberrations in people exposed to chronic low-level radiation in their homes.

It has also been offering medical services to the public, Chen said, such as by assisting the Taipei City Government’s Department of Health examine objects allegedly contaminated with melamine or plasticizers, building and supervising a newborn hearing screening system and conducting urine and pinworm tests on school children in the city.

“While the institute has extended its expertise to other areas such as pharmacogenetics and genetic testing for breast, lung and colon cancers, it will continue to participate in international or cross-regional clinical trials of new drugs in the future,” Chen said.

The institute was founded in 1983 thanks to the lobbying efforts of then-Taipei mayor Yang Kim-tseng (楊金欉).

The city government and the Liugong Irrigation Association each contributed NT$300 million (US$10 million at current exchange levels) to the facility’s start-up funds at the time, but the institute now enjoys a financial self-sufficiency ratio of about 95 percent.