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The WHA needs Taiwan, Taiwan needs the WHA: 19 medical groups

China likely to block invitation for Taiwan to the May 21-26 event

19 medical groups in Taiwan call on the WHA to invite the country.

19 medical groups in Taiwan call on the WHA to invite the country. (CNA photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – With Taiwan’s invitation to the May 21-26 World Health Assembly looking less and less likely due to pressure from China, 19 medical organizations called an international news conference in Taipei Wednesday to emphasize the country’s case for participation.

As “equal health for all” was a key theme of this year’s assembly in Geneva, Switzerland, the Taiwanese groups said the country should be allowed to participate and share its experiences with the world, in particular its pioneering role as the first Asian country with overall health insurance coverage, the Liberty Times reported.

Taiwan’s medical technology and public hygiene were among the global leaders, earning a rating that put it fourth in the world and first in Asia, the groups said, adding that its experience with transplants was also among the most advanced.

Care for the elderly was also being promoted as the population was ageing, and British publication The Economist once named Taiwan as the second healthiest nation in the world.

Since 1996, Taiwan had spent over US$6 billion in health assistance and international aid, benefiting millions of people in more than 80 countries, the medical groups said.

As Taiwan was willing to share its valuable experience with the world, “the WHA needed Taiwan, and Taiwan needed the WHA,” the medical associations concluded.

Even if China succeeds in its attempt to have Taiwan kept outside the assembly, a delegation will still travel to Geneva to put across its case in separate meetings with representatives of other countries.