A retired medical corps officer yesterday said it was a disgrace that the Ministry of National Defense transferred Lin Hsin-yen (林信延) — a 34-year-old major who was caught in April last year secretly taking photographs of female patients’ underwear at Gangshan Armed Forces Hospital — to the hospital’s Flight Physiological Training Center.
The retired officer, surnamed Wang (王), was quoted by the Chinese-language Apple Daily as saying that the training center was the only flight physiological training unit in Taiwan, adding that it was also the authority on determining the fitness of all Taiwanese air force pilots and other air personnel, adding that it makes the final decision on physiological fitness.
Lin, who allegedly took the pictures for an extended period before being caught, was transferred to the training center as a flight trainer as a punishment for his “delinquent actions.”
That transfer, media reports say, earned Lin an annual salary increase of about NT$100,000.
The hospital is also alleged to have shielded Lin from punishment, as it repeatedly dismissed charges on grounds of insufficient evidence. He was transferred to the training center despite having had a spy camera confiscated from him.
The center includes low-pressure and high-pressure cabin simulators, spatial disorientation simulators, human centrifuge training, ejection seat simulators, as well as night-vision training systems, Wang said, adding that it can train pilots, other aircrew personnel and intelligence officers in situations such as high-altitude oxygen deprivation, emergency escape procedures and spatial disorientation training, to better understand their own physiological state during missions.
“The center is where aircrew receive their training on how to deal those forces,” Wang said.
It was because of the hard work at our training center that it was awarded a US Air Force Quality Certification, an honor given to only a few countries, he said.
Assigning such personnel with a history of delinquent behavior at the training center should be avoided, Wang said.
Although Lin was initially given only one major demerit, the hospital was forced to review the case in August last year because it had not investigated the matter and the Sexual Harassment Investigation Committee, which reviewed the case, gave Lin two major demerits and ruled that Lin was disqualified from his posting, reports said.
On allegations that Lin was being protected and given a raise despite having been suspected of committing a crime, the ministry yesterday said the reports were baseless, as Lin only received a slight bonus because of his daily work and as he was an administrative officer, as opposed to a medical corps physician officer, he did not receive the bonus accorded to medical corps officers.
On claims the hospital director was trying to protect Lin from punishment in hopes of being promoted to major general, the ministry said the director was scheduled to retire from the armed forces at the end of July and that media reports “deviated from the truth.”
If administrative loopholes were found in the hospital’s handling of the Lin case, the Medical Affairs Bureau would also issue punishments to those who violated their duties in accordance with regulations, the ministry said.
Lin is expected to quit the military next month, the ministry added.