Thu, Jan 22, 2009 - Page 4 News List

New elderly care program planned by government

By Shih Hsiu-chuan  /  STAFF REPORTER

The government yesterday said it intended to set up an insurance program for long-term care for senior citizens as early as next year to meet the needs of an aging society.

Executive Yuan Spokesman Su Jun-pin (蘇俊賓) made the comments after an interdepartmental meeting on the subject chaired by Premier Liu Chao-shiuan (劉兆玄).

The Council of Economic Planning and Development (CEPD), charged with study of the program, told the meeting that the elderly population by the end of 2028 would be 5.36 million, or 22.5 percent, in the country, up from 2.39 million, or 10.4 percent, at the end of last year, Su said.

The high-speed growth meant that the elderly population could double in 20 years forcing the government to come up with necessary measures now, Su added.

Liu said the meeting yesterday involved officials from related departments exchanged ideas, while the CEPD was commissioned to draw up a comprehensive proposal by the end of this year.

Su said the program was expected to cover a wide range of services for seniors, from basic food, clothing, housing and transportation to financial planning.

All senior citizens will be covered by the insurance program, with certain qualifications, Su said.

Liu was quoted by Su as saying that related departments such as the Ministry of the Interior, the Veterans Affairs Commission, the Council of Agriculture, and the Council of Labor Affairs should coordinate to speed up the implementation of the insurance program.

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