President Tsai Ing-wen met with a delegation from the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) on the morning of March 8. She praised the Taiwan Association of Obstetrics and Gynecology (TAOG) for helping Taiwan reach out to the world through their medical expertise, and emphasized that Taiwan will continue to strive to ensure the rights of women and children as well as women's rights globally.
In remarks, President Tsai began by stating that today is International Women's Day, and she offered a warm welcome to our friends from abroad, all contributors to the safeguarding of women's health, to Taiwan to attend the annual congress of the Taiwan Association for Obstetrics and Gynecology.
The president pointed out that over the past half century, FIGO has assisted countless women in countries around the world, particularly in remote areas, working effectively to lower maternal mortality rates. This includes President C.N. Purandare, who has promoted the “Saving Lives” movement for pregnant women in India, and Professor Jeanne Conry, who has conducted research into the effects of the environment on women's health. Their work has contributed greatly to the improvement of women's welfare, she said.
The president said that she was delighted that the TAOG was also in attendance. She specially thanked the TAOG for caring for women and children's health in Taiwan. In 2017, Taiwan's maternal mortality rate dropped to 9.8 deaths per 100,000 births, and gender selection has been banned. She expressed her profound appreciation for all of the doctors present who have devoted themselves to the improvement of maternal health and research into reproductive medicine.
She also thanked the TAOG for their valuable feedback on government policy. Since the enactment of the Childbirth Accident Emergency Relief Act in 2016, a joint effort between the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the TAOG, doctor-patient relations have improved significantly and we have begun to fill ob/gyn positions in our hospitals. This is great news, she said.
The president then thanked the TAOG for helping Taiwan reach out to the world through medical expertise. She stated that each and every one of them is a member of Taiwan's "national medical team." She stated that the government will continue to support our obstetricians and gynecologists working hard on the frontlines. We will continue to implement the referral system for our health care institutions, we have ironed out issues related to making medical institutions more breastfeeding-friendly, and we are gradually adjusting national health insurance payments for severe and acute ob/gyn complications, she said.
She reiterated that today is International Women's Day, and Taiwan will continue to work toward the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals by promoting gender equality and women's empowerment. We will strive to create a better future for women as well as obstetricians and gynecologists, she said.
President Tsai further stated that Taiwan has always worked to ensure the protection of women and children's rights as well as of women's rights globally. She expressed hope that President Purandare and all of the distinguished guests present would continue to speak up for Taiwan on the international stage.
In closing, the president once again welcomed the delegation to Taiwan, and wished for a successful TAOG annual congress.