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  • MOHW vows to improve community mental health post-attack

    Discover how Taiwan’s Deputy Ministers of Health and Welfare are responding to a recent stabbing on the Taichung Metro by emphasizing mental health services and collaboration with the Ministry of Justice. Learn about their plans to enhance community mental health and ensure a safer environment.
    2024/05/22 17:49
  • Taiwan vows not to raise health insurance costs for citizens

    Discover how Taiwan’s Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare, Lin Ching-yi, addresses concerns over National Health Insurance reform, emphasizing a balanced approach to maintain high-quality healthcare without increasing the financial burden on citizens.
    2024/05/22 17:10
  • Taiwan considers easing mask mandates in hospitals

    Explore the potential easing of mask mandates in hospitals by Health and Welfare Minister Hsueh Jui-yuan in Taiwan, as COVID-19 restrictions adjust. Deliberations include balancing public health with convenience, amidst discussions on enterovirus vaccines and regulatory updates in a Legislative Yuan meeting.
    2024/05/08 13:13
  • Taiwan’s ongoing struggle for WHA participation continues

    Taiwan could be excluded from the World Health Assembly for the eighth consecutive year, with no invitation to the 77th WHA in Geneva. Despite this, an action team led by Minister of Health and Welfare Chiu Tai-yuan will still attend for health exchanges. Efforts to regain WHA participation have been ongoing since 1997, but Taiwan has faced barriers since 2017. The exclusion continues despite Taiwan’s previous WHO membership before 1971.
    2024/04/24 17:10
  • Cho Jung-tai unveils new faces in Taiwan’s Executive Yuan

    Discover the latest personnel appointments by Premier-designate Cho Jung-tai for the Executive Yuan, including key positions in the Ministry of Labor, Health and Welfare, the Hakka Affairs Council, the Council of Indigenous Peoples, and the Ministry of Environment. This announcement follows President-elect Lai Ching-te’s vision for a "Healthy Taiwan" and showcases a commitment to diversity and expertise in the new cabinet.
    2024/04/19 18:00
  • Medical union opposes Chiu Tai-yuan as MOHW minister

    The Taiwan Federation of Medical Unions criticizes the rumored appointment of Chiu Tai-yuan as Health and Welfare Minister, citing his past refusal to engage with the union and opposition to disability rights amendments. They outline five qualities essential for the role, emphasizing the need for reform, communication, and respect within the healthcare sector to address workforce challenges and improve public health.
    2024/04/16 15:47
  • Lai’s Cabinet picks spark interest in Health Minister choice

    President-elect Lai Ching-te’s cabinet announcement sparks interest in the Ministry of Health and Welfare selection. Current Minister Hsueh Jui-yuan has not received retention notice. Chen Jyh-hong, convener of the "Healthy Taiwan" forum, is a potential candidate. Hsueh may announce health insurance premium increase before stepping down. Ministry proposes plan to address insufficient pediatric resident doctors.
    2024/04/15 12:42
  • Taiwan considers renaming bongkrek acid to avoid rice stigma

    Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Victor Wang addresses the rare occurrence of Bongkrek acid production in Taiwan, sparking public fear after a food poisoning incident. Wang discusses the conditions necessary for toxin production and potential changes to the Chinese translation to avoid stigmatizing rice products.
    2024/04/01 16:04
  • Taiwan faces food poisoning crisis: investigation ongoing

    Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan addresses a food poisoning outbreak in Taipei, suggesting endogenous toxins as a possible cause. The crisis at Polam Kopitiam has led to 14 illnesses and 2 fatalities, with suspicions of deliberate poisoning. An investigation is ongoing as experts explore the unusual symptoms and potential sources of contamination.
    2024/03/28 12:11
  • MND vows to fix military mental health hotline issue

    Taiwan’s Minister of National Defense, Chiu Kuo-cheng, addresses management issues in the Matsu region’s mental health center during a Foreign and National Defense Committee meeting. The non-operational hotline and recent self-harm incidents among military personnel prompt a comprehensive review and system strengthening. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wang Ting-yu highlights concerns over non-working numbers and the need for more certified mental health support staff in the military. The Ministry of National Defense reports progress in certifying mental health support staff since 2018.
    2024/03/27 15:34
  • Taiwan halts sales of Japanese red yeast rice products

    Taiwan’s Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan announces the removal of products made with red yeast rice from Japan due to adverse reactions. Kobayashi Pharmaceutical’s recall follows reports of acute kidney failure, with one reported death under investigation.
    2024/03/26 13:55
  • MOHW orders CWLF to stop admissions amid foster care scandal

    Taipei’s MOHW orders CWLF to suspend new foster child placements following a tragic case. Deputy Minister Lee Li-Fen calls for internal review and supervision improvements. Adoption process for existing children to receive heightened scrutiny.
    2024/03/13 12:41
  • Defense minister responds to military mental health concerns

    Amid a series of self-harm incidents in Taiwan’s military, Minister of National Defense Chiu Kuo-cheng emphasizes ongoing mental health support for personnel. Investigations into these cases consider various factors, including emotional well-being and job stress, without differentiating between incidents inside or outside military bases. Chiu stresses the importance of assessing individuals’ mental state and other contributing factors, while cautioning against hasty conclusions in ongoing investigations.
    2024/03/07 18:01
  • Taiwan health minister assures control over medical fees

    The story discusses Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan’s remarks on the competition among Taiwan medical institutions and the potential impact on registration fees. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is shifting away from fixed fee recommendations, raising concerns about fee hikes. Hsueh emphasized the need for oversight to prevent collusion and unfair practices, particularly in regions with limited healthcare resources.
    2024/03/07 13:22
  • Taiwan MOHW tackles chili powder contamination crisis

    Taiwan’s Health Minister, Hsueh Jui-yuan, addresses the Sudan III contamination in chili powder, highlighting the careful response needed to ensure food safety. Hsueh rules out a blanket ban on imported chili powder due to its importance in local cuisine, opting for increased inspections instead. Several local governments, including New Taipei City and Taipei, have halted the use of chili powder in school meals as a precaution.
    2024/03/07 12:05
  • Officials clash over publicizing contaminated pork findings

    Taipei’s Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare questions Taichung City’s decision to publicly announce the presence of Cimbuterol in local pork produce, insisting on a thorough investigation before disclosure. Taichung City’s Office of Food and Drug Safety found the banned substance in frozen pork slices produced by TaiSugar. The city health bureau defended the immediate announcement, citing the need to protect consumers and citizens’ health interests. The Executive Yuan expressed doubts about the test results, citing unusually low levels of Cimbuterol detected and suggesting further investigations. Taichung City’s Office of Food and Drug Safety informed Pingtung County’s Public Health Bureau and Tainan’s Public Health Bureau for further investigation. Organizations like the Executive Yuan’s Consumer Protection Committee and the Consumers’ Foundation tend to directly announce results when adulterated products are found, justifying Taichung’s disclosure. The office conducted three tests using two methodologies, with one result exceeding the quantitative limit. Only TaiSugar’s product tested positive for Cimbuterol. TaiSugar has called for a re-examination of the test results and sent the sample to the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Food and Drug Administration for reinspection.
    2024/02/06 14:27
  • Taiwan Premier celebrates averted EVA Air strike

    Taiwan’s Premier Chen Chien-jen expresses relief and happiness over the resolution of the planned strike by EVA Air pilots. An agreement was reached between the pilots union and the company, averting the strike during the Lunar New Year period. Premier Chen visited a private AnKang education and nursing institution in Taoyuan City, presenting special meal funds and New Year grab bags ahead of the holidays.
    2024/01/29 17:10
  • Taiwan to revamp hospital evaluation after 20 years

    Taiwan’s Health and Welfare Minister, Hsueh Jui-yuan, has announced that a major overhaul of hospital evaluation standards is underway, with the possibility of abolishing limits on the number of medical centers. This has sparked discussions and concerns about the reliability of hospital assessments, particularly after rumors circulated that Taipei Tzu Chi Hospital may replace Taipei Municipal Wanfang Hospital as a frontrunner in the northern region’s medical center. Minister Hsueh assured that the core concepts of tiered medical treatment will remain unchanged, and this year’s evaluation plans will not be affected. However, he acknowledged that the evaluation standards for medical centers, which have not been updated in over 20 years, need to be reviewed. The Minister highlighted the need to amend criteria that have become outdated, such as the mandatory inclusion of an Institutional Review Board (IRB), which is now a standard practice in all hospitals. The new evaluation standards will be announced publicly after a meeting, and medical centers willing to participate will undergo a trial evaluation. A draft of the updated standards is expected to be implemented within two years, in time for the next evaluation round in three years.
    2024/01/26 14:16
  • Taiwan expands telemedicine services to millions

    Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare has announced updates to its Rules of Medical Diagnosis and Treatment by Telecommunications, expanding telemedicine services to a larger population under certain conditions, effective July 1. Approximately 2.47 million individuals are expected to benefit from these changes. The updates aim to adapt to the post-COVID-19 healthcare landscape and extend the scope of telemedicine to five special situations, including chronic disease care, end-stage disease care, custody care in correctional facilities, care for the mobility challenged, and care during disasters, communicable diseases, or other significant changes. Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan clarified that not all patients can avail of telemedicine services, as evaluation by healthcare units is mandatory, and physicians who violate the rules may face a maximum fine of NT$100,000. The new process combines physical outpatient services with telemedicine to reduce costs and time for patients requiring post-acute care, offering a convenient and seamless healthcare experience. The updated rules broaden the range of medical services that physicians can provide through telecommunication. Additionally, the Ministry has stated that doctors, after evaluating the patient’s stable condition, can now electronically prescribe medication for patients with chronic mental illnesses or in end-stage care, including regulated drugs like morphine.
    2024/01/22 15:27
  • Nauru cuts diplomatic ties with Taiwan, allies dwindle to 12

    Taiwan’s diplomatic ties with Nauru, its South Pacific ally, have been severed, reducing Taiwan’s diplomatic partners to 12. Taiwan and Nauru first established diplomatic relationships on May 4, 1980, with a brief interruption from 2002 to 2005 when Nauru switched allegiance to Beijing. Efforts by the then-Taiwanese Foreign Minister Mark Chen and Nauruan President Ludwig Scotty revived the ties. The current Nauruan president, David Adeang, received congratulations from the Taiwanese ambassador stationed in Nauru. Taiwan and Nauru have collaborated in various areas, including infrastructure construction, public health, clean energy, education, climate change, information technology, agriculture and fishing, and naval patrol. Taiwan’s remaining diplomatic allies include the Marshall Islands, Palau, Tuvalu, Eswatini, the Holy See, Belize, Guatemala, Haiti, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent.
    2024/01/15 14:12
  • New agency to speed up drug review process in Taiwan

    Taiwan’s health ministry has announced the establishment of the Center for Health Policy and Technology Assessment (CHPTA) with an investment of nearly NT$200 million from the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA). The CHPTA aims to expedite the review process for newly insured drugs by implementing parallel reviews. Starting from New Year’s Day in 2024, the new system is expected to significantly shorten the time required for reviewing newly insured drugs from an average of 13 months to 6 months. Health Minister Hsueh Jui-yuan emphasized that national health insurance plays a stabilizing role in Taiwanese society and disapproved of major amendments, ruling out the possibility of a "third generation health insurance." He also expressed the belief that drug pricing policies under the health insurance system need reform, making the launch of CHPTA a significant reform effort.
    2023/12/28 13:27
  • Chiayi DPP councilor’s death highlights lung cancer crisis

    Lung cancer in Chiayi City is the leading cause of cancer deaths, accounting for nearly one-fifth of all cancer-related deaths in Taiwan. The recent death of Tsai Wen-hsu, a veteran councilor from the Democratic Progressive Party, has highlighted the importance of early cancer detection. Former Chiayi City mayor and minister of the Department of Health, Twu Shiing-jer, emphasized the need for preventive medicine and comprehensive screening. Statistics show that early-stage lung cancer has a significantly higher five-year survival rate. To address this issue, the Ministry of Health and Welfare launched an early lung cancer detection program, making Taiwan a leader in lung cancer screening. The program targets individuals with a family history of the disease and heavy smokers, offering low-dose CT scans every two years. However, while screening can detect lung cancer early, it cannot prevent the disease. Public health officials recommend smoking cessation services and rejecting smoking to mitigate the risk of lung cancer.
    2023/12/20 19:12
  • Taiwan boosts pediatrician subsidies to NT$1,000 in 2024

    Taiwan’s Minister of Health and Welfare, Hsueh Jui-yuan, has announced significant increases in subsidies for dedicated pediatricians starting in 2024. The "2023 Plan to Optimize Pediatric Medical Care" aims to improve the quality of pediatric care and attract more young practitioners to the field. The subsidy for physicians specializing in the care of each young child will double from NT$500 to NT$1,000. The optimization plan, with a total budget of NT$2.8 billion, will run from 2021 to 2024, with NT$2 billion allocated for 2024 alone. The implementation of the dedicated pediatrician system across the nation underscores the investment made in this critical healthcare sector. Currently, 22 counties and municipalities have implemented the dedicated pediatrician system for children aged 0 to 3, and since November, it has expanded to include newborns. There are currently 1,882 dedicated pediatricians serving over 184,000 young children across 1,048 medical institutions, bringing the national coverage rate to 40.5%.
    2023/12/19 16:51
  • Taiwan health official admits affair, seeks forgiveness

    Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare has addressed reports of an extramarital affair involving Secretary General Hsu Chao-cheng, expressing hopes that he will handle the matter appropriately. Hsu himself acknowledged the affair on Facebook, apologizing to his wife, family, and colleagues. The affair was brought to light by Mirror Media, which revealed frequent interactions between Hsu and a female subordinate, identified as Chen. Colleagues reported seeing them together watching movies and shopping. Deputy Minister Jih-Haw Chou of the Ministry of Health and Welfare stated that if any aspect of the affair relates to official duties, it will be further investigated.
    2023/12/06 20:34
  • Legislative Yuan reviews Assisted Reproduction Act

    The Legislative Yuan’s Social Welfare and Environmental Hygiene Committee reviewed proposed amendments to the Assisted Reproduction Act, including one that would allow a surviving spouse to use embryos for having children after the death of their partner. The Ministry of Health and Welfare is considering expanding the legislation to include same-sex couples, single individuals, and surrogate pregnancies. Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan suggested a public hearing to gather feedback due to the ethical, legal, and child welfare considerations involved. The current law only permits assisted reproduction for married couples, excluding single women and lesbian couples. Taiwan also does not currently recognize surrogacy as legal, creating unresolved issues regarding the parental status of children born through such arrangements. The debate reflects the government’s attempt to address societal changes and demographic challenges, particularly concerns about population decline.
    2023/12/04 21:39
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