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Chairman of Taiwan Blood Services Foundation resigns

2017/01/12 19:33:42

Taipei, Jan. 12 (CNA) Former Health Minister Yeh Ching-chuan (葉金川) on Thursday announced his resignation as chairman of the Taiwan Blood Services Foundation, saying the Cabinet pressured him to quit after a negative report about the foundation caused a precipitous fall in donations.

The controversy erupted on Tuesday when Mirror Media published a report that the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee was about to launch an investigation into allegations the foundation was established with funds from the opposition Kuomintang and should therefore be classified as an ill-gotten asset.

The report also accused the non-profit of monopolizing sources of blood for medical uses in Taiwan and making annual income of NT$3 billion (US$95 million).

The foundation has released a statement denying the accusations detailed in the report.

According to Yeh, blood donations have plummeted in the two days since the report was published.

Yeh said when he reported the situation to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, which has four seats on the foundation's board, he was informed "the Cabinet would like you to resign."

In response, Cabinet spokesman Hsu Kuo-yung (徐國勇) said the Cabinet did not ask Yeh to step down and it was regrettable he had chosen to blame the government without reason.

Hsu said Yeh's resignation had nothing to do with the Cabinet, but undertook to respect his decision.

He also reiterated that the Cabinet would not interfere in the investigation to be launched by the Ill-gotten Party Assets Settlement Committee, which Hsu said exercises its authority independently.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan, Ku Chuan and Y.F. Low)
ENDITEM/AW