TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Despite being granted an invitation as an “observer” in 2009 and 2016, Taiwan will not be invited to the latest World Health Assembly meeting from May 21-30.
Taiwan's exclusion from the 76th World Health Assembly (WHA) in Geneva, Switzerland, comes despite support from 11 influential countries, such as the U.S., Australia, France, Germany, Canada, Japan. Absence from the global health forum could affect the health of Taiwanese, per a press conference hosted by the Taiwan Medical Association (TMA) held at 10 a.m. Friday (May 12).
The World Medical Association (WMA), representing millions of physicians in 115 national member associations, annually appeals to the World Health Organization’s director-general for Taiwan’s inclusion in the WHA.
In this year’s letter, the WMA touted Taiwan’s achievement in universal health coverage, pandemic prevention measures, and quick action in public health emergencies.
It also noted that Taiwan continues to contribute to important international causes, such as recently giving NT$600,000 (US$19,500) to the WMA Ukraine Medical Help Fund, and another NT$7.5 million (US$245,800) to Turkish earthquake relief efforts in 2023.
Health is a basic human right and the 23 million people that live in Taiwan should be able to access the latest medical information and technology. Furthermore, inclusion in the WHA will allow Taiwan the chance to help the world.
The 21 national medical associations supporting Taiwan’s inclusion into WHA were: Taiwan Medical Association (TMA), Taiwan Union of Nurses Association (TUNA), National Union of Chinese Medical Doctors' Association, Taiwan Dental Association, Federation of Taiwan Pharmacist Association, Pharmacist Association of Taiwan, Corporation Aggregate National Federation of Associations of Physical Therapists Taiwan, Occupational Therapists Union of Taiwan, Taiwan Association of Medical Technologists, Taiwan Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (TAMRT), Taiwan Dietitian Association, Association of Taiwan Clinical Psychologists, Taiwan Counseling Psychologist Union, Respiratory Therapists Society of Taiwan, Taiwan Speech Language Pathologist Union, National Federation of Association of Physical Therapists Assistant Taiwan, Taiwan Audiologist Association, Taiwan Association of Dental Technicians, The Optometrist Society of Taiwan, Taiwan Assistant Optometrists Association, The National Union of Midwives Association Taiwan.