Taiwan’s senior health officials reiterated March 23 the nation’s commitment to eradicating tuberculosis at home and joining international efforts to eliminate the disease.
Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, Centers for Disease Control Director-General Chou Jih-haw, lawmakers and health care professionals made the pledge at a ceremony in Taipei City staged on the eve of World TB Day, a public awareness campaign organized annually by the World Health Organization. The event also included a lighting ceremony for an “End TB” sign on the front of CDC headquarters.
Chen said that these advances result from wide-ranging government funding for treatment and prevention through the National Health Insurance program—Taiwan’s universal health care system—and the CDC. As a result, TB patients do not need to cover expenses for such services as inpatient and outpatient care, medication and vaccines.
According to Chen, this comprehensive funding highlights the nation’s commitment to universal health care, a founding principle and priority objective of the WHO. Taiwan has expressed its eagerness to attend the World Health Assembly—the global organization’s decision-making body—May 21-26 in Geneva so it can share its extensive expertise with the international community. (KWS-E)