Taiwan Doctors Say WHO Rejection Poses Health Risks

March 19, 2007 at 10:23 pm | Posted in China, Health, News, Politics, Taiwan, 健康, 台灣, 台湾, 政治, 新聞, 新闻, 中国, 中國 | Leave a comment

Paul Eckert in Washington, Mar. 19 2007 Reuters

China’s veto of any Taiwanese participation in the U.N. World Health Organization leaves a dangerous gap in the global network as it faces the threat of bird flu and other diseases, Taiwan’s medical authorities said on Monday.

Taiwan has unsuccessfully sought observer status in the WHO for 10 years, but has been rejected as a result of China’s insistence that only sovereign states should be allowed to take part. China claims sovereignty over the self-ruled island.

“This is a human security issue — a human rights issue,” said Wu Shuh-min, who heads a group of doctors and lawmakers touring the United States and Canada this week to seek support for Taiwan’s 2007 bid to join the WHO.

“With the avian flu threatening the international community, we ought to fight those diseases together, instead of having a hole in the network,” said Wu, president of the Foundation of Medical Professionals Alliance in Taiwan…

Last May, the WHO rejected for the 10th consecutive year Taiwan’s bid for observer status at its annual assembly. Chinese pressure to isolate Taiwan often takes “ridiculous” forms, such as insisting that hosts add the word “China” to the names of groups from Taiwan when they appear at professional medical gatherings, said David Huang of the Academia Sinica Institute of European and American Studies. Chinese pressure means that even when Taiwan’s doctors get invited to less controversial, non-U.N. gatherings, “more often than not, we find it’s too late or we cannot find a way to get into the conference room because China blocks us,” he said.

Wu said his hospital in Taiwan lost two nurses among six infected with SARS when that respiratory disease hit China and its neighbors in 2003. Taiwan received no WHO help in controlling that mysterious infection, he said. “We went through tremendous psychological trauma and the whole society was in a panic state,” Wu said.

With such attitudes from the PRC government, one can easily see why a growing number of Taiwanese are so adamant about declaring independence from the ROC and asserting their Taiwanese identity over their Chinese ancestry.


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