210,000 families covered under new respite care rules

Taipei,  About 210,000 families could benefit from a change in the rules governing applications for government subsidized respite care services when hired migrant caregivers take leave, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said Friday.

Starting Dec. 1, households that have family members with disabilities (categorized between levels 2-8) can apply for subsidized respite care services when their regular foreign caregiver takes leave, Deputy Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan (薛瑞元) told a news conference.

This is the second time the ministry has relaxed the rules since September 2019, when it allowed households with family members who have severe disabilities (categorized as level 7 or 8) to apply for respite services whenever their foreign caregivers take time off.

Prior to that, subsidized respite care services were only available when foreign caregivers took at least one month of leave.

The latest policy change was made possible by the greater long-term care resources the government now has, with over 60,000 domestic caregivers on its roster to provide short-term respite care services, according to Hsueh.

Speaking at the same event, Workforce Development Agency Director-General Shih Chen-yang (施貞仰) said the purpose of the new measure is to help reduce the burden on people who need to take care of disabled relatives at home or at a designated care center that offers 24-hour care.

It also aims to ensure the right of hired foreign caregivers to take a break, she noted.

Chou Tao-chun (周道君), deputy director-general of the ministry’s Long-term Care Department, said an estimated 210,000 families will be entitled to apply for the services. Based on past experience, about 63,000 are expected to do so, he noted.


Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel

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