Because of the low diagnostic rate of occupational and environmental diseases, the Department of Health of the Executive Yuan decided to establish OEM (Occupational and Environmental Medicine) as a specialty in medicine and encourage medical centers to set up such a department.
The National Taiwan University College of Medicine (NTUMC) had the first occupational physician certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine in 1982. Since then, there have been 18 different kinds of occupational diseases documented in collaboration with other departments of the NTUMC, the NTU Hospital and other hospitals in Taiwan.
Because Taiwan entered into WTO (World Trade Organization) in 2002, there is an urgent need to provide qualified physicians to promote occupational and environmental health inside industries. Moreover, the passing of ISO14000 (International standard organization for quality certification) in 1996 also produced a need for industry to implement environmental management voluntarily, while the passing of ILO/OSH 2001(International Labor organization/ occupational safety and health management system) gave industry additional pressure to implement occupational health services for its factories both inside and outside of this country.