Investing in Health For a Stronger Nation

AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk, Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan, and AmCham Taiwan Chairperson Vincent Shih at the 2023 Investing in Health Forum.

The 2023 Investing in Health Forum was held by AmCham Taiwan and the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) at the Grand Hyatt Taipei on November 28. Through collaborative public and private efforts, participants gathered to refine health policies and encourage further investment in health to build a stronger and more sustainable future. 

Taiwan’s healthcare system has gained global recognition for its outstanding performance and resilience. As Taiwan moves beyond the pandemic, it is imperative to continue investing in public health to strengthen the nation. Currently, only slightly more than 6% of Taiwan’s GDP is allocated to healthcare – far less than the 9.2% OECD average. This discrepancy is evident in various indicators, including average life expectancy, disability-adjusted life years (DALY), infant mortality rate, survival rates of the 10 most common cancers, and chronic disease control. 

Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan

To address the future challenges posed by an aging population and various public health issues, speakers and panelists from government, academia, and industry shared a diverse range of viewpoints on possibilities for efficient healthcare investments. 

The forum featured opening remarks from Premier Chen Chien-jen and Vice Premier Cheng Wen-tsan, as well as AIT Director Sandra Oudkirk and AmCham Taiwan Chairperson Vincent Shih.  

Jui-fen Rachel Lu, professor at Chang Gung University College of Management, Graduate Institute of Business and Management, gave a presentation titled “Investment in Health: Global Perspectives.” Her presentation was followed by a panel discussion on the management of physical and mental chronic diseases. The panel featured Vice President of the National Health Research Institute (NHRI) Wayne Huey-Herng Sheu; Director-General of the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) Wu Chao-chun; Deputy Director-General of the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA) Tsai Shu-ling; Director of MOHW’s Mental Health Department Chen Liang-yu; Chairman of the Taiwanese Diabetes Association Huang Jian-ning; and Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at Tri-Service General Hospital Hung-Yen Ke. 

Ambassador-at-large Kuo Hsu-sung

The forum’s second panel on reducing mortality through prevention included Professor Lu; Director-General Wu; NHIA Deputy Director-General Tsai; Deputy Dean of the College of Medicine and Hospital Vice President at National Taiwan University Gau Jia-hong; Professor and Chief Physician of the Department of Gynecologic Oncology at Linkou Chang Gung Memorial Hospital Chou Hong-shiue; and Chairman of the Taiwan Osteoporosis Association Chen Chung-huan.  

Following the panel discussions, Ambassador-at-large Kuo Hsu-sung, a former Director-General of MOHW’s Centers for Disease Control, gave a presentation with suggestions on Taiwan’s healthcare future. Closing remarks were made by Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan and AmCham Supervisor and Pharmaceutical Committee Co-chair Miyuki Ogushi. 

The event was sponsored by Amgen, Edwards Lifesciences, Eli Lilly, Gilead Sciences, Johnson & Johnson, and MSD.