US Health Secretary Azar praises Taiwan at APEC meeting

Taiwan Health Minister also present at APEC conference, explains digital element in pandemic prevention

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Taiwan Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (third row, third from left) at the APEC meeting (APEC photo)

Taiwan Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (third row, third from left) at the APEC meeting (APEC photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar praised the “Taiwan model” at an Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum health videoconference, reports said Saturday (Sept. 26).

Azar went on a four-day trip to Taiwan in August, which is the most senior-level trips to the nation made by a U.S. government official since 2014. It was followed by a visit from Undersecretary of State Keith Krach in early September.

APEC opened its “10th High-Level Meeting on Health and the Economy” (HLM10) online on Sept. 23, with at least nine ministers or vice ministers and representatives of 19 countries taking part. The meeting’s theme was “Building a Resilient Asia-Pacific in a COVID-19 World,” CNA reported.

In addition to Azar sharing what he had learned during his visit to Taiwan, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) also took time to explain the use of digital technology during the pandemic. He told APEC about the real-name system of distribution for masks and the registration of relevant data on health insurance cards.

The countries agreed on the need for an emergency response network and for more government spending on healthcare systems.