Taiwan is a vital member of the global public health community and is dedicated to deepening medical and industrial links with Asia-Pacific countries, Vice President Chen Chien-jen said Oct. 28.
Chen was speaking at the two-day Global Health Forum in Taiwan themed Resilience: New Challenges and Opportunities for Global Health that discussed issues spanning ageing societies, chronic diseases and natural disaster response. The two-day meeting brought 1,200 officials and academics from 34 countries and territories like Australia, Japan, Malaysia and the U.S.
Touting Taiwan’s world-renowned National Health Insurance system with close to 100 percent coverage, the vice president said the nation is committed to working with like-minded partners to solve global health challenges. He cited the country’s collaboration with the U.S. through the Global Cooperation and Training Framework in holding six workshops on the prevention of epidemics, including dengue fever, Ebola and Zika.
As a regional leader in health care, Taiwan unveiled a medical cooperation and industrial development program under the New Southbound Policy in June aimed at sharing the country’s expertise while bolstering industrial ties with target countries, Chen said.
A key plank in the government’s national development strategy, the NSP seeks to deepen Taiwan’s agricultural, business, education, tourism and trade ties with the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations member states, six South Asian countries, Australia and New Zealand.
Six medical centers are being opened under the program in India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam to train local professionals and set up a comprehensive regional health care system.
The vice president said challenges such as aging populations and chronic diseases mean that establishing fully universal health care and social welfare systems are an urgent priority for all countries.
With Taiwan expected to become a super-aged society with 20 percent of the population aged 65 years or older by 2026, Chen said the country is focused on rolling out its Long-term Care Plan 2.0. The program, which utilizes public and private resources, involves establishing a community-based service network by integrating medical care, long-term care and preventative health care resources.
First launched in 2005, the annual forum is organized by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health and Welfare. (CPY-E)