Premier Lai Ching-te said on Thursday that the right of indigenous peoples to good health and the elimination of inequalities in medical treatment and care stand as one of President Tsai Ing-wen's major promises to Taiwan's indigenous citizens. The government will therefore formulate a forward-looking, innovative and culturally sensitive policy that takes into consideration the particular geographical limitations and cultures of various communities. By organizing a more efficient arrangement of resources for medical treatment and care, health and welfare officials will create a highly efficient health care environment offering widespread and accessible services.
The premier made his remarks following a presentation by the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) on solutions to the disparities in medical treatment suffered by rural indigenous communities.
Statistics clearly show that considerable differences in health and life spans exist between indigenous peoples and the country overall, said Premier Lai. To address this issue, the MOHW approach targets three levels—individuals, families and communities—to identify objectives through statistical analysis, train medical personnel from the communities they are to serve, and find solutions compatible with local customs and livelihoods. The aim of these efforts is to enhance health awareness and screening for disease, boost the health of mothers and infants, improve local medical services, and provide comprehensive treatment and care in indigenous rural communities.
The MOHW launched an action plan in May of this year to tackle indigenous health care disparities. The plan maps out 10 health care activities focused on expanding coverage and improving the system of care and treatment in rural indigenous communities, with the ultimate objective of raising living standards among indigenous peoples and closing the gaps in overall health.