Sun, Apr 23, 2017 - Page 3 News List

Taipei to trial home care systems for elderly people

By Sean Lin  /  Staff reporter

Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je yesterday delivers the opening address at the inauguration of the Taiwan Society of Home Health Care in Taipei.

Photo: Chien Jung-fong, Taipei Times

Taipei is experimenting with home care to identify optimal elderly care methods under the central government’s Long-term Care Services Program 2.0, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲) said yesterday at the launch of the Taiwan Society of Home Health Care.

The program is a plan to develop and qualify community-based long-term healthcare centers and skilled care facilities in response to the nation’s aging population, providing elderly people with more timely care that better suits their needs.

One of Taipei’s biggest problems is land prices, which drive up the fees Taipei-based care facilities charge their clients, forcing people to send their parents to facilities in other counties or cities, Ko said.

The Taipei City Government plans to promote home care, he said, adding that it would be tiresome for people to have to seek out doctors, dietitians, rehabilitation therapists and nurses, so the city hopes that these services can be integrated to a single platform that would see caretakers visit elderly people at home, he said.

The municipal government is experimenting with four home healthcare methods under a project led by the Taipei Department of Social Welfare, with a trial run scheduled to end in six months, Ko said.

The city government is to determine which method best addresses people’s needs and formulate policies accordingly, he said.

Meanwhile, Ko reiterated that he never opposed New Taipei City developing the “three rings, three lines” Mass Rapid Transit System (MRT) lines, when asked to respond to New Taipei City Deputy Mayor Hou You-yi’s (侯友宜) criticism.

Both municipalities have proposed building railway lines in the hope of securing funds from the Cabinet’s NT$420 billion (US$13.83 billion) “Forward-looking Infrastructure Construction Project” budget.

Hou on Thursday accused Ko of “talking nonsense” for reportedly saying that New Taipei City does not need more MRT lines.

Since local governments often overestimate the profitability of MRT systems, the central government should distribute the budget with careful thought, Ko said.

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