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Taiwan upgrading basic public health centers to community health care management centers

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Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday received a Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) briefing on efforts to upgrade the public health service system. As times have changed, the services that Taiwan's basic public health centers provide, the targets they serve and their methods have completely changed. It is time to make fundamental changes to render basic medical resources more reasonable and use resources more efficiently. The objective is to transform the public health centers into "community health care management centers," the premier said.

Presently, the 368 towns, cities and districts in Taiwan have established 374 public health centers, all of which have long stood on the front lines of public health and preventative care work. With Taiwan progressively becoming a super-aged society, public health centers have shifted focus from child care to elder care services, and their work has grown more complicated than ever. Now is the time to enact fundamental changes that will localize services, enable flexible hiring of medical personnel, and bring in new technologies while strengthening medical machinery and equipment.

The premier stated that the MOHW proposed four major upgrade strategies today that will localize medical services, increase flexibility for hiring medical personnel, renovate hardware architecture, and make telemedicine more convenient. Focusing on organizations, staffing, hardware architecture, and medical equipment, these strategies will upgrade existing public health center service capacities, which in turn will help achieve President Tsai Ing-wen's policy goal of transforming public health centers into community health care management centers.

The premier also said that Taiwan has contained the COVID-19 virus and won praise for our achievements, which is a tribute to the hard work and contributions of our public health center colleagues in promoting disease prevention information, providing home quarantine care, and administering vaccines. He hopes that this comprehensive approach will transform and upgrade public health centers, making them no longer just places to get vaccinated or see a doctor, but centers to care for local seniors and integrate community health care resources.

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