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May 28, 2017

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Health official gets warning over controversial Facebook posts

The China Post news staff--The Department of Health (DOH) yesterday resolved to issue a "written warning" to Shih Wen-yi, deputy director general of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for controversial statements he made recently on his Facebook page.

The DOH made the resolution based on the results of the investigation conducted by the personnel division of the DOH and after a secret ballot among 10 members of the CDC's performance evaluation committee, according to Wang Zer-chao, director of the DOH's public affairs office.

Wang said that the "written warning" will be taken into account in Shih's year-end performance evaluation.

Wang noted that as a high-ranking CDC official, Shih's controversial statements have affected the entire administrative team and seriously undermined the ethics and discipline desirable for a civil servant.

In the Facebook posts in question, Shih said that the U.S. did not grant Taiwan complete visa-free privileges, as Taiwanese nationals must still register online. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has rebutted Shih's statement, saying that an online application to receive electronic travel authorization is a general requirement for U.S. border control and homeland security.

Also on Facebook, Shih criticized the ruling Kuomintang's proposal to allow mainland Chinese students in Taiwan to be covered by the national health insurance system, saying that such coverage would be unfair to Taiwan's taxpayers.

The Directorate-General of Personnel Administration under the Cabinet, instructed by Premier Sean Chen to deal with Shih's case, noted that it would respect the DOH's resolution.

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