Reported by Wu Liang-Yi from Taipei
Dr Chen Shih-Chung is to take charge of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW). After his inauguration, he will immediately face the problems of healthcare reform, long-term care program and food safety issues. Dr Chen said in an interview that his first priority is to stabilize the administration.
Dr Chen will be the first MOHW Minister with a dentistry background. The society has concerns over his lack of experiences in the healthcare system. There is a worry that the new MOHW Minister is unfamiliar with issues about the healthcare system, the long-term care and food safety issues. In reply to this concern, Dr Chen said that it is not possible for any MOHW minister to understand every single issue within the administration of the MOHW. What’s important is the Minister’s leadership, how to pool the resources from both the public and private sectors together and how to interact with stakeholders.
Dr Yen Tzung-Hai of Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital urged the new Minister to apply the most stringent standards to examine the pork imported from the US and the foods imported from nuclear radiation affected areas in Japan.
Dr Yen expressed that the Minister should do more homework before making decisions on food safety issues because he is no expert in this field. The MOHW should make the public’s safety the top priority, said Dr Yen.
As for the long-term care program, Jenny Chen, the Secretary General of the Family Care Organization, suggested that the new Minister should visit hospitals and patients in order to understand their needs for the hospital discharge plan.
Dr Liu Shu-Chiung, the President of the Taiwan Healthcare Reform Foundation, expressed that hospitals are very concerned about including doctors into the scope of the Labour Law; yet, nurses’ working conditions have not been improved despite the fact that they are now protected by the Labour Law. The new MOHW Minister still has a long way to go, said Dr Liu.
Dr Liu expected the new Minister to address the public’s needs while carrying out a reform of the healthcare environment. The public should be educated about changing their habits and behaviour of using the healthcare system so as to improve the working environment for all health professionals.
【2017-02-04/ Liberty Times】