Tue, Mar 22, 2011 - Page 2 News List

Rules to be tightened on use of foreign caregivers

TIPPING THE SCALES:Under the new draft act, foreign caregivers will be expected to undertake training and obtain certification, as is required of all local caregivers

Staff Writer, with CNA

The government will adopt stricter measures on hiring foreign caregivers to gradually reduce the country’s reliance on foreign workers, Minister Without Portfolio James Hsueh (薛承泰) said yesterday.

Hsueh made the statement at a public forum held by National Taiwan University. Academics specializing in medical care, social services, sociology and public health were also invited to take part in discussions on the difficulties and challenges facing Taiwan in promoting a long-term care policy.

LONG-TERM CARE

Hsueh said the Executive Yuan, which is reviewing a draft bill governing long-term care services, expects to approve the bill before the end of this month and hopes it will be put on the Legislative Yuan’s priority list.

Addressing the content of the draft bill, the minister said the government plans to “replace foreign caregivers with local workers step by step to boost the development of the domestic care service industry.”

GRADUAL REPLACEMENT

Hsueh said Taiwan has about 182,000 foreign caregivers, more than 170,000 of whom were hired to care for a sick or disabled family member. However, many of these foreign workers were being put to work doing household chores instead, he said.

Under the draft act, the criteria for reviewing new applications to hire a foreign caregiver would be tightened, including the proviso that foreign workers would have to pass training and obtain certification, the same as local caregivers.

QUALIFICATIONS

Families filing such applications would also be carefully checked to make sure they are qualified to hire a round-the-clock caregiver, Hsueh said.

The new act would not affect foreign caregivers currently working in Taiwan, he said, but was focussed on ensuring that Taiwan did not remain excessively reliant on foreign caregivers.

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