The founding director, Kun-Yen Huang, planted the tree (Photo credit: Miao-Shu Chung)


In 1981, NCKU Sought to Set up a Medical School and a Hospital and Promotes Fourteen Major Construction Projects in southern Taiwan

In the 1970s, one of the key government policies was to fill the healthcare divide between northern and southern Taiwan. It was also a fervent wish for all at NCKU and inhabitants of southern Taiwan to establish a medical school and a teaching hospital. Once President Han-Min Xia was in office, he consulted experts and presented a well-thought-out plan about setting up a medical college. In 1981, NCKU College of Medicine and an affiliated teaching hospital were established on approval of the Executive Yuan. This was among the Fourteen Major Construction Projects at that time.

In response to President Xia’s earnest request, Prof. Kun-Yen Huang returned to Taiwan to help arrange affairs relating to setting up NCKU College of Medicine in 1982. Everything from the construction of medical buildings to the recruitment of top talent was taken in charge by Prof. Huang, who had successfully convinced many respected professors who taught at medical schools in northern Taiwan to serve at NCKU College of Medicine. In 1983, the medical school recruited its first batch of students for the post baccalaureate medicine. The incumbent Vice President of Taiwan, Lai Ching-Te, was enrolled in the post baccalaureate medicine program after it was started three years ago. In the spring of 1984, the first batch of freshmen was admitted to the Dept. of Medicine. In 1988, the teaching hospital started to operate. The NCKU College of Medicine is the first ever medical school that shares the same campus with other departments of a comprehensive university. An overarching curriculum and faculty diversity help to instill humanistic understanding and compassion in students at NCKU College of Medicine. It has been our mission to develop highly competent and compassionate doctors for people of southern Taiwan.

A motto by the founding director Kun-Yen Huang was “Go all the way, or don’t go at all.” Dr. Huang had overcome many obstacles in the years as he spared no efforts to build a medical center in southern Taiwan. His endeavors and dedication has yielded notable results in clinical medicine, prospective study, and talent cultivation, in addition to seeking progress and excellence, fulfilling a college’s social responsibility, and seeking the common good in society. The hospital has adhered to the principles: “life, love, excellence, creativity,” recruiting a group of health professionals in clinical medicine, public health, and cross-technologies and taking every measure to fulfil its social responsibility of helping patients with acute condition or with serious or complicated illnesses, or rare diseases. Faced with the outbreak of viruses or any incidents over the decades: from the outbreak of Enterovirus in1998, SARS in 2003, the occurrences of dengue in 2015, an earthquake in 2016, to the coronavirus outbreak in 2020, NCKU Hospital has always been staying in the front line, ensuring the public’s health and safety and showing the spirit of the “Tree of Life” to society as a whole.

In 1981, the party was held after the groundbreaking ceremony. Front is the mini model of the college of Medicine. The then president Dt. Han-Min Xia (Picture by courtesy of National Cheng Kung University Hospital)

In 1987, the then premier Kuo-Huan Yu arrived in the construction center of the medical center to see the progress of the construction. (Picture by courtesy of National Cheng Kung University Hospital)

National Cheng Kung University Hospital was completed construction in 1988. (Picture by courtesy of the National Cheng Kung University Museum)

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