The Ministry of Health and Welfare plans to establish a specialized agency to promote and integrate long-term care service policies, Minister of Health and Welfare Lin Tzou-yien (林奏延) said yesterday.
He made the remarks during a visit to Yilan County to gain a better understanding of the local community’s long-term care service model.
As the government’s “long-term care services program 2.0” took effect on Jan. 1, Lin said he plans to establish a specialized agency to organize information and initiatives that are scattered across a number of the ministry’s units, such as the Social and Family Affairs Administration, the Department of Nursing and Healthcare and the National Health Insurance Administration (NHIA).
Lin said he last week mentioned the proposal to Premier Lin Chuan (林全), who seemed receptive to the idea, but added that the ministry would have to present more a detailed plan to the Executive Yuan.
According to Lin Tzou-yien, the ministry has given the NHIA two tasks this year: facilitating patients’ transition from hospitalization to home care and integrating information between medical centers and home care providers.
As patients are sometimes unable to receive home care immediately after being discharged from a hospital, care managers would be allowed to enter medical facilities to assess and assist people in need of long-term care when they are hospitalized to ensure a smooth transition to home care, the minister said.
Information is to be digitized to enhance the integration of data between hospital and home medical care so that medical personnel, caregivers and care managers can better understand the needs of individual patients and ensure that home care teams provide proper medical treatment, he added.
The NHIA said that people who require medical services at home can consult with hospitals before they are discharged or find the contact information of medical care facilities associated with the National Health Insurance program on the administration’s Web site (www.nhi.gov.tw).