Taiwan to hold APEC talks
Taiwan will hold bilateral talks with other APEC members during the bloc’s annual meeting being held in Bali, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said yesterday. However, Taiwan will not release the details of the talks until after the meetings, ministry officials said. The APEC leaders’ week, which opened on Tuesday on the Indonesian resort island, includes a ministerial meeting scheduled for today and tomorrow, an economic leaders’ meeting on Monday and Tuesday next week, and other events. Former vice president Vincent Siew (蕭萬長) will represent President Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) at the summit, where he is expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平). Siew will also take the opportunity to show Taiwan’s determination to participate in regional economic integration, the ministry said.
Retirees support dependents
Two-thirds of Taiwanese retirees responding to a global survey said they are still supporting dependents. HSBC Holding, a multinational bank, conducted the survey on global retirement trends of 16,000 people across 15 countries between July last year and July this year. It was released on Sept. 18. In Taiwan, 66 percent of respondents said they were still taking care of dependents despite being retired. “It seems that one consequence of the aging population in particular is that funding elderly parents while in retirement will remain commonplace,” the report said, noting that 25 percent of Taiwanese retirees said they were actively supporting parents and another 31 percent intended to do so. Despite that financial burden, 69 percent of respondents plan to leave their assets to family members. Those assets are valued at nearly NT$5.7 million per person (US$190,000), the third highest in Asia and Oceania behind Australia and Singapore, the report said.
Boy receives new liver
Surgeons completed a liver transplant for a seven-month-old boy from Guatemala, Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital said on Wednesday. The team, led by the hospital’s superintendent, Chen Chao-long (陳肇隆), began the 10-hour operation on Sandiago Haider on Tuesday, transplanting a section of liver donated by his mother. The boy required the transplant because he was born with biliary atresia, a bile duct defect. Chen said the operation was difficult because the smallest piece of liver taken from the mother weighed 360g while the boy needed a piece of only around 50g. Therefore, Chen and his team decided during the surgery to reduce the donor liver to 200g to minimize possible complications.
Many miss mammograms
Fewer than one-third of Taiwanese women undergo breast cancer screenings every two years leaving thousands at risk in a country where one in every 176 middle-aged women screened is diagnosed with the disease. Bureau of Health Promotion (BHP) data from last year showed that just 32.5 percent of women aged 45-69 underwent regular mammograms. Based on the diagnosis rate, that means that as many as 14,000 women who skipped breast exams could have already developed breast cancer, the bureau said yesterday in recognition of Breast Cancer Awareness month. BHP deputy director Kung Hsien-lan (孔憲蘭) said that many women cite busy schedules or otherwise good health as excuses for not having regular check ups. She urged women to take advantage of potentially life-saving subsidized mammograms.