Taiwan's well-developed medical system and public health networks rank with the best, and our National Health Insurance is especially well-known worldwide. With steady upgrading of the quality and competitiveness of the pharmaceutical and medical devices industries, Taiwan is integrating its leading-edge information technology capacities with innovative medical management to establish a smart health environment.
As rapid economic growth vastly expands markets in South and Southeast Asian countries, Taiwan has sought to develop and strengthen bilateral cooperation and interaction in this region. Under the New Southbound Policy, Taiwan's medical and health-related industries have expanded their cooperation opportunities with these countries, seeking win-win outcomes and building greater regional prosperity.
To achieve this objective, the One Country, One Center (1C1C) project was launched in June 2018 with India, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam as primary partners. Under this project, medical centers coordinate with six priority countries to deepen medical cooperation and help health-related industries expand into these markets. Cooperation is focused on: a) expanding professional training programs; b) building medical industry collaborations; c) providing health consultation services for Taiwanese working and doing business in partner countries; d) building a multiculturally friendly health environment; e) reviewing regulations and undertaking market surveys; and f) integrating information.
In 2018, the six medical centers trained 336 medical professionals from South and Southeast Asian countries and introduced 69 enterprises to the target region. The Ministry's Medical and Health Care New Southbound Policy Office works closely with industry on relevant policies.
Taiwan is competitive in health-related fields because it offers high quality at reasonable prices. Particular medical specialties Taiwan is known for include craniofacial surgery, living-donor liver transplantation, joint replacement and spinal surgeries, cardiac diagnosis and treatment, reconstructive microsurgeries, artificial reproduction, treatment of congenital malformations, aesthetic medicine, dental implants and comprehensive health examinations. Recent years have seen steady growth in patients visiting from South and Southeast Asia; a cumulative total of 112,000 such patients had used Taiwan's medical services by September 2018.
In terms of cooperation in the fields of medical devices and pharmacy, three Taiwan laboratories have been certified by Indonesian authorities after being recommended by MOHW. This certification allows food products to be exported to Indonesia while tests and inspections are performed in Taiwan. This can reduce duplicate tests and inspections while also facilitating bilateral trade by lowering the costs and delays involved in entering regional markets.
Taiwan's Food and Drug Administration and Malaysia's National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency concluded an agreement allowing qualified stakeholders applying through the FDA to use English letters of approval for reference. This expedites export clearance to Malaysia if relevant supporting documents prove that both Level Two Quality Control and Food Expansion Verification Program requirements are met. This agreement has helped to improve market access for Taiwan health supplements firms.
The MOHW publishes guidelines on registering traditional herbal medicines in Malaysia and Singapore to help Taiwan products enter those markets. The MOHW's oral health services events in Malaysia showcased Taiwan dental products and equipment such as artificial tooth roots, dental laser systems, and dental collagen products.
To strengthen regional epidemic prevention capacities, the United States and Taiwan co-organized an International Workshop on Laboratory Diagnosis for Enterovirus under the U.S.-Taiwan Global Cooperation Training Framework. Participants included 31 experts from 15 countries, of which 11 were New Southbound Policy partner countries. In 2018, the Center for Epidemic Disease Prevention and Technology Transfer opened to help these regions protect citizens' health and improve quarantine procedures. This center collaborated with Vietnam and Indonesia to organize international workshops on tuberculosis and dengue prevention. The epidemic prevention team also works with local public health staff in partner countries.
The MOHW will continue to facilitate health-related programs under the New Southbound Policy, and will extend the One Country, One Center project to two-year programs in 2019, adding Myanmar and Brunei as primary partners. These policies strengthen and integrate business contributions to Taiwan's medical and health systems to create opportunities and jointly improve public health.