President calls for support for Taiwan in global disease control
Taipei, Oct. 23 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen called during a health forum Sunday for support for Taiwan to join global cooperation in disease control amid increasing cross-border travel and cargo exchanges that she said could heighten the challenges in preventing epidemic disease.
Taiwan has made enormous progress in healthcare over the past several decades, and as a result, can now offer the global community substantial and efficient contributions in the area, Tsai said at the 2016 Global Health Forum in Taiwan, which was jointly organized by the ministries of health and foreign affairs.
The president said that Taiwan can assist other countries, such as those in Southeast Asia, in the training of medical treatment personnel.
"It is a key part of our southbound policy," she said, referring to the New Southbound Policy being promoted by her administration to cement Taiwan's links with countries in the region.
There will be more and more people and cargo exchanges among different nations in the future, and this means that contagious diseases will become a greater challenge for everyone, Tsai said.
Every country in the world has to work with others in the fight against disease, she said, adding that "if Taiwan is excluded from the world's disease control system, it will be missing out on an important new force."
"Taiwan is ready" to make contributions, the president said, expressing hope that Taiwan can gain international support for participation in global cooperation in disease control.
Taiwan's participation in international affairs is often blocked due to China's opposition.
In her address to the forum, Tsai introduced an advanced long-term care program that her government is set to implement next month for the establishment of a comprehensive and affordable long-term care system that can benefit most people in the country.
She also spoke of the existing national health insurance system, which she bragged allows everyone to acquire medical resources at a reasonable cost.
Describing Taiwan's health insurance program as an achievement of which the country can be proud, Tsai recognized that the system has to be improved constantly by promoting smart healthcare, using medical resources more efficiently, and improving the patient-transfer system in remote areas.
The health forum, held under the theme of "Toward 2030: A Global Health Agenda," attracted around 900 experts in various fields from 31 countries.
Several of Taiwan's diplomatic allies, including Swaziland, Nauru, Solomon Islands, Marshall Islands, El Salvador and Tuvalu, sent their health ministers to attend the event. (Ccourtesy of CNA)