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  • President Tsai's remarks at 2016 Global Health Forum in Taiwan
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President Tsai poses for a photo with the participants of the 2016 Global Health Forum in Taiwan. President Tsai delivers remarks at the 2016 Global Health Forum in Taiwan.
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On the morning of October 23, President Tsai Ing-wen delivered a speech at the 2016 Global Health Forum in Taiwan, stressing that the government of Taiwan has already begun to reallocate its public resources and adopt new approaches to the future challenges.

A transcript of President Tsai's remarks follows:

Minister of Health and Welfare Tzou-Yien Lin (林奏延),
Distinguished Guests:

Good morning!

On behalf of the government and people of Taiwan, I would like to first extend a sincere welcome to all the health leaders who have joined us at this 2016 Global Health Forum in Taiwan.

The theme of this year's forum is "Towards 2030." What will the world be like in 2030? What kinds of medical and public health challenges will we be facing when the time arrives? And how are we going to respond?

Such questions not only deserve but also require our attention, and the international community needs to work together to set a new agenda for human health. This is why we are gathered together here today.

The government of Taiwan has already begun to reallocate its public resources and adopt new approaches to prepare ourselves for the future challenges.

The first challenge is the arrival of a "super-aged" society. By 2030, people over 65 years old will account for more than 20% of Taiwan's population.

For this reason, we are already integrating public and private resources, and next month we will provisionally launch our second 10-year Long-Term Care Plan. The goal of this plan is to create a comprehensive long-term care system that is accessible and affordable to people here.

We are going to provide integrated community service centers, multi-service day care service centers, and neighborhood care stations. The idea is to enable the elderly to live in dignity and to continue participating in society, and to make "healthy aging in place" a reality.

Second, we are making preparations to establish a more equitable national health system. Taiwan's National Health Insurance program makes healthcare resources available to all members of our society at a relatively reasonable and fair cost. Taiwan's National Health Insurance program is an achievement that we are very proud of, and many countries have sent experts here to study our system.

Of course, this system needs to be continually improved, particularly, to make it more equitable. In addition to the National Health Insurance program, we are actively promoting "smart healthcare" to achieve more efficient use of healthcare resources. We also seek to improve care in distant areas, as well as capabilities for patient referral across administrative boundaries.

More importantly, we want to stress that the reallocation of healthcare resources must be carried out in conjunction with our reforms to the structure of our society. Such reforms would include, for example, increasing the allocation of more educational resources to remote areas; providing more local job opportunities, and a rethinking of our nationwide imbalance in the allocation of public resources.

Third, we also seek to strengthen our international cooperation. One can imagine that, in the world of 2030, there will be a lot more cross-border movement of people and goods. This means that communicable diseases will represent a bigger challenge. Accordingly, all nations bear a joint responsibility to share information and work hand-in-hand to fight against new types of communicable diseases.

Therefore, if Taiwan is not included in the global health system, the "jigsaw puzzle" of worldwide disease control will be missing a vital piece.

Taiwan has advanced healthcare capabilities, and through decades of foreign medical aid, we have built up a wealth of valuable experience and knowledge. We are very willing and able to make meaningful contributions to global healthcare.

We want to help other countries to train health professionals. For example, we encourage students from the ASEAN and South Asia to come and receive medical training in Taiwan. This is one of the focal points of our New Southbound Policy.

We also intend to make Taiwan's healthcare resources available to NGOs, in order to increase our presence in international humanitarian aid. And we will make efforts on international dialogue and cooperation, in order to help build a more complete international disease control network.

Taiwan is ready. We strongly hope that all of you will support Taiwan's participation in various international organizations.

It has been a delight for me to be here today. And I wish all of you a forum of resounding success.

Thank you all.
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