Leave No One Behind website shows Taiwan can help attain universal health coverage

The Leave No One Behind website was launched April 2 in Taipei City as part of government efforts demonstrating the nation’s commitment to achieving the World Health Organization’s goal of universal health coverage.

An initiative of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and Health and Welfare, the portal contains a collection of images spotlighting Taiwan’s decades of contributions to medical care, as well as the need for the country to take part in the 71st World Health Assembly—the decision-making body of the WHO—May 21-26 in Geneva.

Website highlights include photographs and films separated into the categories of Affordable UHC, Biomedical Technology, Global Contributions and Front-line Experiences. Taiwan’s world-leading National Health Insurance system is spotlighted in the first, while its related cutting-edge hardware and innovations are displayed in the second.

Launched in 1995, the NHI is a compulsory single-payer social insurance plan covering virtually every citizen and foreign resident in Taiwan. It offers convenient access to inpatient and outpatient services, dental care, prescription medications and traditional Chinese treatments at affordable prices.

A major feature of the portal is the MOFA-produced short “A Perfect Pair” about 13-year-old Nguyen Thi Loan from Vietnam and her battle to overcome congenital lymphedema. Shot on location and subtitled in Chinese, English, French, German, Japanese and Spanish, the film shows how Loan is writing a new chapter in her life through the support of Taiwan and its world-class doctors and medical technology.

The MOFA said Taiwan is willing and able to share its 23 years of experience in implementing the NHI with the rest of the world. This is in line with the WHO’s goal of universal health coverage, which is to ensure all people obtain the services they need without suffering financial hardship when paying for them.

Citing a 2017 BIO International Convention assessment describing Taiwan as one of the top biomedical hubs in Asia, the MOFA said the county’s advanced know-how and related achievements can help in achieving the third U.N. Sustainable Development Goal: ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Washington-headquartered Biotechnology Innovation Organization is the world’s largest trade association representing biotech companies, academic institutions, state biotech centers and related organizations in more than 30 countries and territories.

It is anticipated the website will enable the international community to better appreciate the reasons why Taiwan should be allowed to resume its 2009-2016 annual participation in the WHA, as well as the activities and meetings of the WHO, the MOFA added.