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Health minister rates achievements in Geneva at 80%

2018/05/26 20:18:21

Taipei, May 26 (CNA) Health Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), on his return from Geneva Saturday morning, gave himself and his delegation a score of 80 out of 100 for their accomplishments on the sidelines of the annual World Health Assembly (WHA).

Speaking to the press on arrival in Taiwan, Chen said he had an extremely tight schedule in Geneva, including 60 bilateral meetings that were more in-depth and wide-ranging than those last year.

In particular, Chen said, his meeting with U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar was productive and was extended from the scheduled 20 minutes to 40.

At a plenary of the 71st WHA, Azar expressed disappointment over Taiwan's exclusion from the annual meeting this year, and said the U.S. will not wait for the World Health Organization (WHO) annual executive board meeting at the start of next year or until the next WHA to petition for Taiwan's inclusion, but will act right away, according to Chen.

Meanwhile, Chen said, he and the Taiwan delegation hosted a number forums on issues such as health inequality in aboriginal populations, drug resistance, and oral health care for senior citizens.

While in Geneva, Chen was awarded the title of "Diplomat of the Global Charter" by the World Federation of Public Health Associations in recognition of Taiwan's work in the field of health care.

Based on all those accomplishments, Chen said, he would score his Geneva visit at 80 percent, up from last year's 60 percent.

He said will continue to strengthen Taiwan's health care by implementing the suggestions offered by the representatives of other countries at the WHA.

(By Chang Ming-hsuan and Kuan-lin Liu)