Wed, May 15, 2019 - Page 1 News List

Post office to be turned into long-term care facility

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung, left, and Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung show copies of a letter of intent to transform part of Nangang Post Office into a long-term care center, at a signing ceremony at the health ministry in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: CNA

Part of Nangang Post Office in Taipei is to be transformed into a long-term care center in a joint project by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and the Ministry of Transportation and Communications, the agencies said yesterday.

Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) and Minister of Transportation and Communications Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) signed a letter of intent at the health ministry in Taipei, marking the first cross-ministerial collaboration to establish a public care center.

The ministries have agreed to use the spare space on the third to fifth floors of the post office for a comprehensive long-term care facility, with a capacity of 100 beds for accommodation and 16 slots for community daycare services, Chen said.

The space is to be rented and operated by Keelung Hospital.

The care center would provide affordable and quality services to disadvantaged people, he said.

The collaboration would simplify the procedures and make it easier to establish the center, he said.

As it is the first time that the transportation ministry is handling the establishment of a care center, ministry officials took some time figuring out the legal and administrative procedures, but as the government is the sole shareholder of the post office, repurposing the spare space would benefit the public, Lin said.

In addition to asking post offices to check office spaces that are being used, the ministry has asked Chunghwa Telecom Co (中華電信), Taiwan Railways Administration, the Maritime and Port Bureau and other agencies to report unused spaces that can be repurposed, he said.

Many older people are familiar with post offices because they use postal, banking and insurance services there, Lin said, expressing the hope that the project could serve as a model for similar programs.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Wu Yu-chin (吳玉琴) said that there are 6,845 beds at elderly care centers in Taipei — a shortage of about 4,000 beds.

Nangang District (南港) does not even have an elderly care center, so the project is meaningful in that the ministries took the lead to set an example, Wu said.

Keelung Hospital superintendent Lin Chin-feng (林慶豐) said that the post office is applying for a fire safety inspection and a change of building use permit, and the ministries expect the care facility to start operations next year at the earliest.

This story has been viewed 9802 times.

Comments will be moderated. Keep comments relevant to the article. Remarks containing abusive and obscene language, personal attacks of any kind or promotion will be removed and the user banned. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

TOP top