On the eve of the resumed meeting of the World Health Assembly next week, the World Medical Association has again called for representatives from Taiwan to be granted observer status.
In an open letter to the Director General of WHO, the WMA Chair of Council Dr. Frank Montgomery described the continued refusal to allow Taiwan observer status as ‘cynical and counterproductive’.
The WMA has repeatedly called for Taiwan’s admission to the World Health Association Assembly, arguing that the millions of Taiwanese people deserved their health interests to be represented. For several years, Taiwan was given observer status, but in recent years it has been refused.
In his letter to Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director General, Dr. Montgomery writes: ‘The CoViD-19 pandemic has shown once more how important the work of the WHO should be, and yet it bitterly proves how warnings and calls for pandemic and disaster preparedness have been carelessly ignored in many parts of the world.
‘The Covid-19 pandemic has also proved that striving for Universal Health Coverage is not a luxury ambition to pursue. It is an essential strategy, not only for healthy living but also for healthy economies.
‘The Covid-19 pandemic is proof that cooperation for and with all health care systems in the world is necessary. Therefore we believe it is both cynical and counterproductive to continue excluding the health representatives from Taiwan from participating in the World Health Assembly and the technical meetings of the WHO. Even more so since Taiwan has so much to offer in expertise and material help.
‘We respectfully remind you of your responsibility to global health and to grant Taiwan observer status for the World Health Assembly and to readmit them to technical meetings without further obstruction’.