Taiwan seeks backing to attend world health meet in Geneva

By Roy Mabasa

Taiwan is calling on the Philippines and other World Health Organization (WHO) member states to allow it to participate in the 72nd World Health Assembly and related technical meetings, mechanisms, and activities to be held from May 20 to 28 in Geneva.

The World Health Organization said it was aware of a news story about "allegations of misconduct" inside the organization, and its director-general had ordered a probe by an internal oversight office (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)
The World Health Organization (AFP / MANILA BULLETIN)

“WHO should abide by its own principles of inclusiveness and universal participation. Taiwan is a worthy and reliable partner that can help countries around the world achieve the meaningful goal of universal health coverage by 2030,” the Taipei government said in an open letter distributed to journalists worldwide.

With its advances in digital healthcare, Taiwan pointed out that it is a “worthy and reliable partner” that can help countries around the world achieve the meaningful goal of universal health coverage by 2030.

Boasting of its widely regarded National Health Insurance (NHI) system, its NHI ranked 14th in the 2017 Global Access to Healthcare Index of The Economist, and ninth in the 2018 Health Care Efficiency Index of Bloomberg Finance.

“These digital health technologies have enhanced care services in many ways. They have improved the quality of care and reduced costs, in terms of both time and money, by properly matching health services with the locations where these services are provided. They have also lowered the potential risks arising from repeated examinations. Related systems are patient-centered, meaning that they are organized around the complex needs and expectations of patients and communities, helping realize the concept of good hospitals in the community and good doctors in the neighborhood,” it said.

Aside from its competitive advantages in information technology and medicine to deliver better care and enhance the health of the overall population, the Taipei government also said it provided scholarships for in-service programs and higher education to thousands of people, both Taiwanese and foreign nationals, in fields such as medicine, nursing, dentistry, healthcare administration and public health in response to the goals set by the Health Workforce 2030 of the WHO.

The Taipei government rued that in the past two years, WHO has denied Taiwanese delegates, who represent the 23 million citizens of a democratic and peaceful country, access to the assembly despite all their significant advances and efforts.

“Regrettably, political obstruction has deprived Taiwan of the right to participate in and contribute to the World Health Assembly―WHO’s decision-making body. Nevertheless, Taiwan remains committed to enhancing regional and global health cooperation, sharing its experience and capacity in healthcare reform with countries in need, and making universal health coverage a reality by 2030,” it added.