The World Health Assembly opened on May 18 and Taiwan did not receive an invitation to participate in the virtual conference. However, Kaohsiung Medical University Department of Surgery Professor Kwan Aij-lie was invited in her capacity as president-elect of the International College of Surgeons. She said Taiwan has some of the most advanced surgical technologies in the world and many people are interested in hearing about Taiwan's experience.
This is Kaohsiung Medical University Professor Kwan Aij-lie. She was able to attend this year's virtual World Health Assembly thanks to efforts of the medical and diplomatic sectors over the past decade. As Taiwan holds a leading global position in surgical technology, Kwan was elected to become the next president of the International College of Surgeons. This position at the NGO gave her an invitation to the WHA, allowing her to share Taiwan's experience.
If we weren't able to lean on international surgery organizations, our position would be difficult. Taiwan's (surgical) technologies are really very good.
Twelve years ago, Taiwan was kicked out of the ICS without prior warning. Kwan requested a one-year sabbatical, and spent that year traveling to member states and asking for their support for Taiwan to be invited back. Her hard work paid off, and since then, Taiwan has shared its experiences treating burn victims of the Formosa Fun Coast water park explosion and fire.
That last time that Taiwan received an invitation to attend and speak at the WHA was after the Formosa Fun Coast water park explosion and fire. Many northern hospitals were successful in treating burn victims, so they were invited there to share their experiences. I think that as long as we continue working hard, the situation (of not receiving invitations) will improve.
Kwan said Taiwan shouldn't be too eager to attend the WHA, because that will only increase China's opposition. She added that Taiwan will have the opportunity to attend the WHA as long as its medical technologies continue to shine.