World Medical Association calls to end to Taiwan's exclusion from receipt of health information

Physician representatives from the World Medical Association have called for Taiwan to be included in the World Health Organisation's International Health Regulations.

At its meeting in Divonne-les-Bains, France, this weekend, the WMA Council approved a resolution calling for Taiwan's inclusion in the Regulations and for the country to be given observer status to the WHO.

Dr Yoram Blachar, chairman of the WMA Council, said: 'Taiwan, with its population of 23 million people, is currently being prevented from taking part in WHO activities and from receiving health information from the WHO. This is completely unethical, as well as posing a risk to public health in Taiwan and the rest of the world.

'The country is currently threatened by the outbreak of Avian flu in south east Asia and was significantly affected by the SARS epidemic two years ago.
Yet it is being denied access to vital health information from the WHO.

'The people of Taiwan recently showed themselves willing to contribute to the international relief effort following the tsunami disaster. It is now up to the world's governments to show themselves willing to embrace Taiwan in
the global health world.

'The WMA's resolution today is not about politics or the legal status of Taiwan. It is about health care and physicians' duty to treat everybody without discrimination. It is essential that the protection of human health is separated from politics.'