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Health Department becomes Ministry of Health & Welfare

TAIPEI -- The Department of Health (DOH) was formally renamed the Ministry of Health and Welfare yesterday under a government restructuring program.

The new ministry will merge the DOH with some agencies from the Ministry of the Interior.

At the new agency's opening ceremony held at the auditorium of Taiwan Business Bank where the DOH is now housed before its new building completed in Nangang, President Ma Ying-jeou expressed the hope that it will help build a social safety network for Taiwan's aging society.

Chiu Wen-ta, who will now lead the ministry after heading the DOH since 2011, said he envisions a society that will root out poverty and illness and foster maximum well-being among the people.

Between 50 and 60 protesters showed up near the ceremony's venue and scuffled with police, but they were kept at bay from President Ma and did not disrupt the proceedings.

The demonstrators were there to protest the government's recent demolition of four houses in Dapu, Miaoli County, to make way for a development project.

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