Global medical group lists Taiwan by name

The Taiwanese, who heads the Chicago-based International Society of Surgeons, garnered support for cutting the country off “China” on its list

  • William Hetherington / Staff Writer, CNA

The Republic of China is now listed as “Taiwan” on the International College of Surgeons (ICS) website. This is the result of efforts by Taiwanese doctors to revise the list.

Previously, Taiwan was listed as “Taiwan, China” in the “Our Leadership” section of the website.

Professor Guan Huili, a surgeon at Kaohsiung Medical University’s Zhonghe Memorial Hospital and world president of the ICS’s International Executive Council, fought to change the name and achieved success last month.

Photo courtesy of Kaohsiung Medical University

Founded in 1935, the ICS is a non-governmental organization headquartered in Chicago with 106 member states, including Taiwan. Earlier this year she took over as head of the ICS, Kwan is the first woman to hold the position since her ICS was founded 87 years ago.

After taking office, she garnered support for the name change at ICS meetings and events, and by approaching representatives from other countries.

Kwan said in an interview on Thursday that despite the goodwill among ICS members, she felt embarrassed asking others within the organization to endorse her efforts on the name.

“But my feeling was that if someone doesn’t support it the first time, it doesn’t mean they never support it,” she said.

The ICS held a council meeting last month to vote on the issue and it passed with a majority. Council members from Taiwan, Paraguay, Nigeria, the United States and Poland voted in favor of the name change, while Hong Kong abstained and two other members opposed the change.

“Medicine knows no borders, and Taiwan’s contributions to medical care are internationally recognized.

Kwan said he plans to visit Guatemala, Mexico and other countries next year to show the spirit of humanitarian aid at free clinics and let more people know about Taiwan.

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