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Taiwan promotes medical cooperation with New Southbound countries

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At the Cabinet's weekly meeting Thursday, Premier Lai Ching-te said the first two years of medical cooperation with countries covered by the New Southbound Policy have already produced promising results in terms of talent development and regional disease prevention networks. The government will next focus on closer integration of Taiwan's medical industrial chains into the region's health care systems.

In remarks following a Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) report on medical cooperation and industrial chain development under the New Southbound Policy, the premier said Taiwan is internationally renowned for its high quality and standard of medical care and that its health care industries enjoy strong advantages. Under the "one country, one center" framework, the MOHW and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council will team up with private hospitals to train health care professionals and build two-way bridges to other health care industries. These efforts will enhance Taiwan's image in the world community and enable Taiwan's medical and biotech supply chains make inroads into the medical systems of targeted countries.

According to the MOHW, the New Southbound medical cooperation and industrial chain development program was launched in 2018 to promote medical cooperation with India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam. On June 1 this year, the government announced that it would establish one medical center in each of these countries, for the purposes of promoting medical personnel training, building bridges between health care industries, providing health consultation for Taiwanese expatriates, creating a culture-friendly medical environment, surveying medical regulations and market conditions, and integrating information.

The program has plans to establish a disease prevention technology transfer center to enhance the region's communicable disease prevention capabilities, as well as a health information services center for people going to and coming from the New Southbound countries for work. Other initiatives include bilateral certification of food safety testing laboratories, regulatory harmonization, bridge building for pharmaceutical and public health industries, export of medical administration services, and training for health professionals.

By using the soft power of Taiwan's medical strengths and building a broad network of health and medical professionals, the program will create a comprehensive ecosystem for the medical care industry and bring regional prosperity to Taiwan and its New Southbound partner countries, the MOHW said.

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