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Retired doctor promoting Chinese language for diagnosis

2012/05/01 23:15:59

Taipei, May 1 (CNA) A retired doctor is set to embark on a 15-day cycle tour around the island May 3 to urge hospital staff to write down their diagnoses in Chinese, which he said will help improve local medical services.

Kao Ko-pei, a former doctor at the Neurological Institute of Taipei Veterans General Hospital, has been promoting the issue for the last 10 years.

Kao, 63, expressed disappointment that the Department of Health has failed to fulfill a promise it made in 2010 to require all doctors to write down medical histories and diagnoses in Chinese for the benefit of their patients.

Kao attributed the use of English when writing diagnoses in Taiwan to the typing system, saying that many older doctors over the age of 60 years only know how to type English characters on the computer.

Young doctors and medical students should be trained to write their diagnoses, treatments and side effects of medication in Chinese, which Kao said could help ease the tension that can arise between hospitals and patients.

Consumers' Foundation Chairwoman Joann Su, who held a press conference to announce Kao's trip, said doctors in other countries such as Germany, France, Japan, South Korea and China all write their diagnoses in their native languages, and she expressed hope that Kao's tour will help change local medical culture.

(By Yang Su-min and Maia Huang)