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Shakeup unrelated to row rumor: Taitung health chief

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The planned replacement of a renowned township public health center chief has nothing to do with a rumored disagreement between the chief and his superiors, the Taitung Public Health Bureau said yesterday.

Taitung Public Health Bureau Director Daniel Lu (盧道揚) said yesterday that the bureau decided to replace Hsu Chao-pin (徐超斌), head of the Daren Township (達仁) Public Health Center, with Pa Te-hsiung (巴德雄) because Pa, a former head of the Taimali Township (太麻里) Public Health Center, has more experience in public health promotion.

He said that Hsu was also replaced because the bureau believes that with Hsu's wife recently giving birth to a child, he will need more time to spend with his family.

Hsu, who has previously suffered a stroke, could also enjoy a lighter workload following the personnel reshuffle, which could benefit his health, Lu added.

A renowned doctor, the 45-year-old Hsu caught the Taiwanese public's attention when he was awarded the Caring for Life Award by the Buddhist charity group Dharma Drum Mountain Humanitarian and Social Improvement Foundation in 2010.

He received the honor because of his efforts to raise funds in the hope of establishing a 24-hour emergency medical service center in the remote Dawu Township (大武) of Taitung County.

Hsu previously said he hoped to raise NT$ 150 million within three years to establish the medical center.

It was previously reported that Hsu was replaced because he held disagreements with his superiors over promoting the project.

Asked to comment, Hsu, who continues to work as a doctor at the health center, said yesterday that he “respects the decision made by his superior.”

He also said he will continue to promote his emergency medical service center project in the future.

The doctor, an aborigine of the Paiwan tribe, said he will now have more time to focus on practicing his medical profession to serve others.

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