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Hospital-university collaboration to deepen healthcare coverage, medical research capabilities of central Taiwan

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To strengthen the medical coverage and healthcare access of all those who reside in the central Taiwanese township of Puli, National Chi Nan University signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Puli Branch of Taichung Veterans General Hospital (臺中榮民總醫院埔里分院) on March 19 to attract more medical resources through industrial and academic collaboration.

NCNU President Dong-sing Wuu (武東星) explains that areas of cooperation shall include developing artificial intelligence and smart devices for medical care and treatment, exploring biotechnology, finding better solutions for long-term caretaking and nursing demands, and utilizing big data and deep learning in clinical studies and digital healthcare analysis.

By pool together resources and talent from both the hospital and the university, this new partnership achieves three core objectives: enhancing the quality of Taiwan’s medical research and development, strengthening the healthcare coverage of Puli, and opening the door for NCNU students to partake in hospital projects and social outreach. 

Hsu Wei–tzu (徐慰慈), superintendent of the Puli Branch of Taichung Veterans General Hospital, added that there are two main frontiers to consider. One, a long-running partnership aimed at ushering in a new era of biotech and smart medical care for central Taiwan; and two, a joint network of resources that can leverage economies of scale by aggregating the hospital’s extensive clinical experiences and applying the university’s academic and big data analysis capabilities.

Summarizing the partnership’s mission statement as “medical advancement through joint research,” Dr. Wuu reiterated the commitment of all four participating NCNU colleges, which are respectively dedicated to the fields of science and technology, business and management, education, and the liberal arts.

The endless possibilities include intelligent healthcare systems, health supplements and graceful aging, interactive VR technology in care facilities, social work training for students, dementia research on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet, big data analysis of clinical results, and green care like horticultural and forest therapy.

Superintendent Hsu also spoke of his high hopes for matching NCNU’s academic and management expertise with the hospital’s medical knowledge, explaining that the joint research, talent training, instructional collaboration, and shared teaching resources can only spur on Taiwan’s educational and industrial advancements. Removing barriers to learning through the co-development of classroom and medical innovations will also pave the way for further hands-on training and professional experience for more NCNU students, Hsu added.

The Puli Branch of Taichung Veterans General Hospital has been operating a dedicated outpost at NCNU for a full decade, providing essential health services to all members of the campus community. On behalf of the university’s students and staff, Dr. Wuu thanked the Puli Branch for its dedication and called on Puli residents to rely on the clinic for their health needs. 

The NCNU clinic operated by the Puli Branch of Taichung Veterans General Hospital is open from Mondays through Fridays (9am to noon and 2pm to 5pm), offering preventive care to adults, vaccination services, and other consultations. Treated by doctors and pharmacists trained by the Taichung Veterans General Hospital, visitors only need to pay for copayment; treatment cost is covered by National Heath Insurance.

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