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Long-term care service bill clears Legislature

Long-term care service bill clears Legislature

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) An estimated 760,000 disabled people and their families are expected to benefit after a long-awaited long-term care service bill cleared the Legislature Friday. Under the bill, long-term disabled refers to those who have been disabled for six months or who are expected to remain disabled for more than six months and based on the needs of the individuals for caretakers to provide support, assistance, care and related medical services. At present, long-term care service is confined to those aged over 65, aboriginal people over 55, or people over 50 who are physically or mentally challenged, living alone and unable to care for themselves. The new bill will provide families of the disabled with other options. Families will be able to hire foreign caregivers as in the current situation, or they can apply to long-term care centers to provide services.
The centers will be responsible for the quality of care, and if foreign caregivers take leave, the centers will have to provide replacements. The act also stipulates that to balance out the development of long-term care resources, the government will have to make a plan in this regard. In those areas with ample resources, the government will limit the establishment or expansion of long-term care centers, while in areas where resources are limited, it will provide incentives to set up long-term care services. The act, the draft of which was sent by the Executive Yuan to the Legislative Yuan for screening in 2012, has been stalled because of a bipartisan row over its financing. Under the act, the fund will be at least NT$12 billion (US$394.16 million) over five years, and the sources for the money will include government budget, tobacco product surcharges and donations. However, the act will not be implemented until two years after its passage, to allow a grace period to integrate the resources. Once the act is put into effect, the government will integrate the existing nursing homes and retirement centers within five years. Those who fail to get approval after that period will not be able to provide long-term care service. (By Chen Wei-ting and Lilian Wu)


Updated : 2021-09-17 23:56 GMT+08:00