Taiwan signs MOU with Swiss hospital on emergency response, rescue

05/22/2019 09:46 PM
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Taiwan's Health Minister Chen Shi-chung (陳時中, front, center)

Geneva, May 22 (CNA) Taiwan's Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) and Geneva University Hospitals (HUG) pledged Wednesday to cooperate on emergency medical response and regional disaster rescue efforts.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) on Disaster and Emergency Medical Collaboration was signed by Taiwan's Health Minister Chen Shi-chung (陳時中) and Francois Chappuis, head of HUG's Tropical and Humanitarian Medicine Department, in Geneva.

Through cooperation with HUG and organizations in other countries, Taiwan can improve its own disaster response capacity and help save lives throughout the world when disaster strikes, said Chen, who is in Geneva with the Taiwan World Health Assembly (WHA) Action Team.

"Health for All, Taiwan Can Help," Chen said, quoting his team's slogan and stressing that Taiwan should not be excluded from the international health network.

In turn, Chappuis said disaster preparedness and emergency responses require multi-dimensional coordination and exchanges amid challenges of climate change, armed conflicts, and outbreaks of infectious disease.

The world needs to establish a regional disaster response and rescue mechanism, and humanitarian rescue operations should not be politicized, Chappuis said at the signing ceremony.

Disaster knows no borders, he added.

According to an MOHW press release, the MOU will allow Taiwan to assemble and train emergency medical teams in accordance with World Health Organization standards, provide support in the areas of disaster medicine and primary care, and enhance cooperation on academic research in the field of disaster medicine.

Chen and the Taiwan delegation are in Switzerland to take part in events on the sidelines of the WHA to highlight Taiwan's willingness to contribute to global health, even though it was not invited to attend the May 20-28 WHA meeting.

(By Tang Pei-chun, Tai Ya-chen and Emerson Lim)


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