TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Vice President Lai Ching-te (賴清德) expressed his gratitude to the country’s caregivers and pledged increased investment in long-term care (LTC) resources.
At a ceremony to award community nursing homes on Thursday (Dec. 24), Lai lauded Taiwan’s caregivers for helping relieve the burden of families with seniors. He vowed to allocate more funds for long-term services and support while ensuring reasonable wages for workers in the industry, wrote Liberty Times.
There are 4,208 community care centers in Taiwan, 2,325 of which are operated in partnership with private organizations. The government will boost the budget for LTC services from the current NT$49.1 billion (US$1.74 billion) to NT$60 billion, according to the Ministry of Health and Welfare.
In-home hospice care is where more funding is needed, said Lin Ya-hui (林雅惠), deputy CEO at the non-governmental Taiwan Healthcare Reform Foundation (THRF). The number of hospital-level hospice service workers surged from 15,114 in 2011 to 62,421 in 2019, but the figure for those offering home-based palliative care only rose from 4,753 to 12,748 during the same period.
A 2019 survey showed that only 166 out of 360 medical institutions offering home-based hospice services had been accessed, indicating a poorly managed system for the type of care that focuses on reducing suffering for terminally ill patients, reported China Times.
The THRF called for better coordination of hospice resources as the government reviews its LTC policy. Incentives should be implemented for community clinics and healthcare centers to increase service providers for a country on track to become a super-aged society by 2025.