Cultivate long-term care providers, standardize services: premier

Building a long-term care industry requires a pool of trained care providers and a standardized service system that will make it easier to set payment standards in the future, Premier Lin Chuan said today at the Cabinet's weekly meeting.

After hearing the Ministry of Health and Welfare's (MOHW) report on a 10-year long-term care 2.0 plan, Lin directed the ministry to launch trial operations by setting up at least one pilot station each in selected cities and counties by year-end. The trial operations are to be expanded over the next year or two before being considered for nationwide implementation.

To establish a widely accessible long-term care system, the government must draw on earmarked tax revenues rather than rely solely on the general budget. However, since earmarked revenues are not sufficient to fund the entire system at present, the government will use the general budget initially and increase the amount drawn from earmarked revenues later on, Lin said.

The plan aims to create localized, community-based services by integrating medical care, long-term care and preventive health care resources. In 2017, the government will invest NT$17.8 billion (US$563.6 million) to raise the number of care receivers from 511,000 to 738,000 (a 44-percent increase) and expand services from eight types to 17, according to the MOHW. A comprehensive community care model will be established, including community-based integrated service centers, combined day care service centers, and long-term care stations in alleys and lanes. The goal is to have at least one alley or lane station for every three boroughs.

For care recipients, a community-based model allows them to receive care in a familiar environment, which promotes aging in place. For the communities, the model creates self-sufficient networks where people can care for themselves and their neighbors. The government will test several types of community care initiatives this year, launch the programs officially in 2017, and expand nationwide in 2018.

Source: Executive Yuan