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New health minister outlines 3 areas to achieve 'Healthy Taiwan'

05/22/2024 06:46 PM
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Minister of Health and Welfare Chiu Tai-yuan (second left) and his three deputies pose for group photos during a news conference in Taipei on Wednesday. CNA photo May 22, 2024
Minister of Health and Welfare Chiu Tai-yuan (second left) and his three deputies pose for group photos during a news conference in Taipei on Wednesday. CNA photo May 22, 2024

Taipei, May 22 (CNA) The control of chronic diseases, childcare, and maternal health were highlighted by new Health Minister Chiu Tai-yuan (邱泰源) on Wednesday, as part of a new "Healthy Taiwan" policy.

The policy goal, proposed by President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) during his election campaign, will be a focus of the administration and will encompass several strategies, Chiu said during his first press conference after taking office on Monday.

"The control of chronic diseases in Taiwan needs to be urgently improved," Chiu added, citing diabetes, kidney disease, and hypertension.

"We have proposed specific measures in 'Healthy Taiwan' [forums], hoping to achieve the '888 plan,'" he said. "Of course, this will require government investment and support."

The "888 plan" Chiu referred to seeks to include 80 percent of patients with high blood pressure, high cholesterol and high blood sugar into the caretaking network within eight years, providing them with lifestyle advice, and ultimately achieving an 80 percent control rate for the conditions.

Chiu, who is also a professor emeritus at the College of Medicine at National Taiwan University, said that childcare and medical personnel who specialize in pediatric care are increasingly scarce in Taiwan.

"How to provide good childcare, improve the quality of pediatric care, and support those willing to join pediatric medical teams are key priorities," he added.

In terms of maternal health, Chiu said from the moment a woman becomes pregnant to postpartum, her psychological and physiological conditions are crucial aspects of prenatal healthcare that need to be well taken care of.

Meanwhile, the 77th World Health Assembly (WHA) will be held in Geneva from May 27 to June 1 and Taiwan, not a member of the United Nations, did not receive an invitation for the eighth consecutive year to the annual meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) decision-making body.

In line with previous practice, the health minister will still lead a Taiwanese delegation to Geneva to attend a series of events outside the WHA and convey Taiwan's demands to representatives from other countries, Chiu said.

Despite China's efforts to exclude Taiwan, Chiu emphasized that the quality of Taiwan's healthcare system surpasses WHO standards, and many foreign countries and international organizations support the nation's inclusion in the WHA.

"Regarding the [WHA] issue, [the people in] Taiwan have to be more united and strive to garner more international support to counter China," he added.

(By Sunny Lai)

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