Alexa
  • Directory of Taiwan

Concerns grow over funding for long-term care

Concerns grow over funding for long-term care

Taipei, July 4 (CNA) Concerns are running deeper over where funding will come from for those in need of long-term care, despite the passing of the Legislative Yuan's much-awaited long-term care service bill in May, a social welfare alliance said Saturday. The Universal Care Policy Alliance (UCPA, ????????) said that even though Taiwan now has the long-term care service act in place, the government's financial resources are limited, so people in need are still unlikely to receive sufficient and necessary assistance. The UCPA is organized by several sub-social welfare groups, such as the Federation for the Welfare and the Elderly (????????), the Taiwan Women's Link (??????), and the Awakening Foundation (???????). On May 15, lawmakers passed the long-term care act to benefit about 760,000 disabled people and their families. Under the newly passed law, 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 caretakers of individuals to provide support, assistance, care and related medical services. The Cabinet has approved a long-term care insurance bill in early June with the aim of funding the country's long-term care system. The bill will be sent to the Legislative Yuan for review, and the government has anticipated that the new insurance will take effect in 2020. Teng Su-wen (???), head of the Department of Nursing and Health Care under the Ministry of Health and Welfare, said that the government needs more than NT$12 billion (US$387 million) over the next five years to take care of the needy under the long-term service act. Government sources said the anticipated expenses are expected to be funded by the government budget, tobacco product surcharges and donations. However, the UCPA has little faith in the funding for long-term care, saying that under such unfavorable circumstances, long-term care is unlikely to benefit anyone who is hungry for help. The alliance is also worried that due to the limited funding, the disabled will suffer a lack of care from the community in which they live. The UCPA cited Germany in saying that the European country, which launched its own long-term care services in 1995, has encountered a financial bottleneck as such a social welfare system has been very expensive. The alliance said that Taiwan is likely to plunge into a funding trap in the future due to the costs incurred by the long-term care services and long-term care insurance, and the ultimate victims could be the disabled and their families. (By Long Pei-ning and Frances Huang)


Updated : 2021-09-19 03:45 GMT+08:00