MOFA pro­motes work­ing hol­i­day safety

The China Post - - LOCAL - BY JOSEPH YEH

The Min­istry of For­eign Af­fairs (MOFA) yesterday re­it­er­ated its call to pro­mote safety aware­ness among Tai­wanese youths who plan to take ad­van­tage of work­ing hol­i­day pro­grams.

Speak­ing dur­ing a reg­u­lar news brief­ing, MOFA spokes­woman Anna Kao ( ) re­it­er­ated the min­istry’s warn­ing that young Tai­wanese who plan to travel abroad on work­ing hol­i­day pro­grams should take out proper med­i­cal in­sur­ance be­fore they travel.

A lack of proper in­sur­ance could re­sult in high med­i­cal ex­penses if a Tai­wanese na­tional needs to un­dergo emer­gency med­i­cal treat­ment or hos­pi­tal­iza­tion in a for­eign coun­try where med­i­cal ex­penses for for­eign­ers are of­ten ex­tremely high.

Kao noted that the min­istry has al­ready worked with sev­eral gov­ern­ment branches in­clud­ing the In­sur­ance Bureau in set­ting up a one-step online plat­form for work­ing hol­i­day go­ers to pur­chase in­sur­ance online.

Also, she noted that when look­ing for job op­por­tu­ni­ties over­seas, the min­istry urges Tai­wanese to so­licit help from le­git­i­mate em­ploy­ment agen­cies and be sure of work de­tails be­fore sign­ing con­tracts.

They are also urged to fol­low lo­cal traf­fic rules and to be aware of road safety, es­pe­cially in pop­u­lar work­ing hol­i­day des­ti­na­tions such as Ja­pan, Aus­tralia and the UK, where traf­fic drives on the left.

Kao’s ad­vice came one day af­ter fam­ily mem­bers of a Tai­wanese man who was res­cued af­ter be­ing trapped in a crevice on Uluru in Aus­tralia ear­lier this month called for fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance from na­tion­als to pay their son’s huge med­i­cal costs.

Twenty- seven- year- old Yang Cheng-hsiao ( ) re­turned to his home­town in south­ern Kaoh­si­ung City on Mon­day. The tourist fell about 20 me­ters into a crevice high on Uluru ear­lier this month and spent the night with mul­ti­ple limb frac­tures and head in­juries be­fore be­ing res­cued by he­li­copters.

The man be­came trapped af­ter split­ting off from his group to take a short­cut.

His f am­ily has paid off NT$300,000-worth of med­i­cal bills at Alice Springs Hos­pi­tal in Aus­tralia, but still faces around NT$2 mil­lion-worth of res­cue and aerial trans­port charges, Yang’s mother said.

In ad­di­tion, her son still re­quires fol­low-up med­i­cal treat­ment, she said, adding that the fam­ily can­not af­ford the med­i­cal costs with­out help.

Yang’s mother called for as­sis­tance from so­cial char­i­ties, and promised the fam­ily will pay the money back in the fu­ture.

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