Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Taipei City Councilor Hung Chien-yi (洪健益) yesterday berated officials over the meals at the city’s four public-housing facilities for senior residents, saying that residents are served worse food than that offered to prison inmates.
During a city council question-and-answer session with Taipei Department of Social Welfare Commissioner Hsu Li-min (許立民), Hung showed pictures of the meals, which included fried eggs with cilantro, pork chops, sticky rice dumplings and salad, and asked what Hsu thought of the meals.
“Not bad,” Hsu replied.
Hung later revealed that the meals were offered to former prison inmates such as former Ting Hsin International Group executive Wei Ying-chun (魏應充) and Farglory Land Development Co chairman Chao Teng-hsiung (趙藤雄).
He went on and said the Taipei Hang-an Nursing Home in Shilin District (士林) offers breakfasts of rice, steamed buns and wheat gluten, while Zhongshan District’s (中山) Zhulung skilled nursing facility serves noodles with tomato sauce, tofu and seaweed soup, which he claimed lacked the necessary protein.
“I am not biased against prison inmates, but what you feed senior citizens is worse than what prison inmates are fed,” he said, criticizing the dietitians who created the meals.
With rents of between NT$13,000 and NT$22,000 (US$410.50 and US$694.69) per month and meal service costing between NT$3,600 and NT$4,200, Hung said residents would need to pay between NT$6.12 million and NT$8.35 million to live in one of these facilities from the age of 65 to 95.
Saying that the four facilities make handsome profits, as each only pays the city government NT$500,000 a year in rent and fees, Hung demanded that the meals and amenities at the facilities be improved.
Citing Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je’s (柯文哲) “Stone Soup Initiative,” which aims to to increase the public space dedicated to elderly people and provide them with improved medication and care services, Hung said: “I do not mean to rain on your parade ... but if this is how you approach long-term care services then Ko’s not going to be re-elected.”
Hsu said the department would ensure senior citizens’ homes prepare more diversified and nutritious meals, while Taipei City Government Secretary-General Su Li-chung (蘇麗瓊) said that she would instruct the Taipei Department of Health to monitor the meals served at the facilities.
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