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India, Taiwan hoping to cooperate on health care

2017/09/22 18:18:13

CNA file photo

New Delhi, Sept. 22 (CNA) Taiwan and India have expressed interest in cooperating on health care in several areas, including national health insurance systems and health information technology, during a visit to India by a Taiwanese health delegation.

The countries also showed interest in working together on the development of Asian traditional medicines and epidemic prevention, and they plan to organize and start talks as soon as possible on tangible forms of cooperation, according to Taiwan's delegation.

Deputy Health and Welfare Minister Ho Chi-kung (何啟功) led the team in visiting India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, the National Centre for Disease Control, chain hospitals Apollo Hospitals and Fortis Hospitals, and health officials in the state of Haryana.

According to sources, hospital representatives and Haryana state officials showed strong interest when the delegation gave a briefing on Taiwan's universal health care system, launched in 1995, and its use of IC cards.

The Indian side asked detailed questions on the operations of the health care system and IC cards, and how information technology is applied to health care and to making diagnoses more efficient and accurate, and there was interest in cooperation in these areas.

Also, due to India's extensive research on Ayurveda medicine and Taiwan's push to scientize traditional Chinese medicine in recent years, the two sides were eager to discuss how to further promote development of these traditional Asian schools of medicine.

Ho said India is an important strategic location in Taiwan's "New Southbound Policy," and visiting the country and understanding its needs will help Taiwan devise long-term strategies under the policy and promote effective and mutually beneficial cooperation.

Haryana, with a population of about 25 million people, was of particular interest to the delegation because of its selection to run a pilot program as part of Indian prime minister Narendra Modi's push to digitally integrate his country's national health care system.

The delegation's visit to India began on Monday and is scheduled to last one week.

(By Charles Kang and William Yen)