Two Taiwanese medical groups have been forced to change the word “Taiwan” in their membership names for the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists (ISRRT) to “Chinese Taipei,” due to a request by the WHO.
The two groups are the Taiwan Society of Radiological Technologists (TWSRT) and the Taiwan Association of Medical Radiation Technologists (TAMRT).
On Dec. 23 last year, the TAMRT posted on Facebook screenshots of a letter it received from the ISRRT, informing it that the two groups’ membership names would be changed from “Taiwan - TWSRT” and “Taiwan - TAMRT” to “Chinese Taipei - TWSRT” and “Chinese Taipei - TAMRT.”
Screen grab from the International Society of Radiographers and Radiological Technologists Web site
In the ISRRT’s letter, it said that the decision was made after it received two letters from the WHO in June last year and last month, asking it to adjust the terms used on its Web site to be consistent with the policies and practices connected with relevant resolutions and decisions of WHO governing bodies.
The letter also cited a part of the letter from the WHO, which said that “in accordance with such policies and practices, references to ‘Taiwan’ are generally presented as ‘Taiwan, China.’”
Listing two links to the ISRRT’s Web site as examples, the WHO’s letter also instructed the ISRRT to “please check all references to Taiwan on the website and ensure references to Taiwan are represented as Taiwan, China.”
The letter from the ISRRT to the two groups said it recognizes that they were among the founding organizations, and that it was a “hard decision” to make, but it has to meet the WHO regulations to continue holding the non-state actors “official relations” status.
The TAMRT said on Facebook that the two groups protested the name change as soon as they received the letter.
They would continue to work with the government to ask the ISRRT to reverse the name change, it said.
TAMRT president Tu Chun-yuan (杜俊元) yesterday said that the two groups have been members of the ISRRT for more than 50 years and have participated in many of the organization’s global meetings, but the ISRRT in March last year informed them that their membership names might be changed due to pressure from the WHO.
“It only gave us two options at the time — either change to ‘Taiwan, China’ or use the term ‘Chinese Taipei,’ which is the nomenclature used to list countries participating in the Olympic ceremony and games,” he said.
“Of course, most of our Taiwanese radiation technologists cannot accept either of the two names,” Tu added.
Tu said that they then received last month’s letter informing them about the name change on the ISRRT’s Web site.
The two groups feel angry and have protested the decision, but have not yet received a response from the ISRRT, he added.
The TAMRT said on Facebook that it encourages the society’s members to carry out their duties with dedication and protect people’s health, so that the world can see the hard work of Taiwanese.
“Although the name is important, what is more important is our efforts,” it said. “Be proud of Taiwan, gain a foothold in the world and let the world know that Taiwan can help.”
Additional reporting by CNA
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