Applications for long-term services have increased significantly since the Long-term Care Services Program 2.0 was launched, and an overall salary increase for caregivers should be achieved by October, the Ministry of Health and Welfare said yesterday.
The ministry began to fully implement the program last year, expanding the scope of the target population and services, and this year a new payment mechanism was implemented to encourage recruitment of more care providers, Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中) said.
About 58,000 people applied for long-term care services from January to May, 69.2 percent more than in the same period last year, Chen said.
The ministry has set a goal of increasing the number of care service facilities, with at least 469 community-based integrated service centers (A), 825 combined daycare service centers (B) and 2,529 “long-term care stations in alleys and lanes” (C), so the current status is an excessive number of B-level facilities and about 72 percent coverage rate of A and C-level facilities, he said.
While the goal is to ensure caregivers receive a minimum monthly salary of NT$32,000, a national survey conducted in March found that 37.87 percent received more than NT$35,000 per month and 20.49 percent received between NT$32,000 and NT$35,000, which means more than 40 percent have a salary higher than the minimum, he said.
Average monthly salaries differ according to region, as the survey found that about 45 percent of caregivers in northern Taiwan receive more than NT$35,000, but only 9 percent in eastern Taiwan receive more than NT$32,000, Chen said.
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