Care facility plan faces move away from fault

By Hsieh Chun-lin and William Hetherington  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Mon, Sep 09, 2019 - Page 3

The Control Yuan has called for the location of a planned long-term care facility to be moved after it was found that the facility is to be built on the Chelungpu fault in Nantou County.

The planned facility — a flagship project of the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Nantou Hospital — was to be built at the ministry’s branch hospital in Jhongsing New Village (中興新村), as space at Nantou Hospital was insufficient.

However, as the planned location is within 100m of the fault line — within which construction of new buildings is prohibited — a new location in the village needs to be chosen, he said.

The ministry should discuss the issue with the National Development Council, which manages an unused 9,212m2 plot of land in the village, Chang said.

The land is near the original site and is square, so would be good for development, he said, adding that its size would facilitate the needs of a long-term care facility.

With an aging population, a declining birthrate and an increase in nuclear families as it becomes more common for elderly people to not live with their children, there is a growing need for long-term care facilities, Control Yuan member Chang Wu-hsiu (張武修) said.

The ministry should negotiate with the National Development Council and the National Property Administration to acquire the alternative land to develop the facility, Chang said.

Last year, 17.17 percent of people in Nantou County were aged 65 or older — the fourth-highest rate in Taiwan — making the need for such facilities especially urgent in the county, he said.

Nantou City and Puli (埔里) and Jhushan (竹山) townships have insufficient resources to provide daytime care for elderly people with disabilities or dementia, while Caotun Township (草屯) has only seven beds for every 100 people with dementia, he said.

Nantou Hospital is the only public hospital in the area that has responded to the long-term care needs of the aging population, he said, adding that a new facility would help it better respond to such needs.