The government is planning to double subsidies paid to care facility residents with disability level 4 or above to NT$120,000 per year and remove an exclusion clause for wealthy individuals, Minister of Health and Welfare Hsueh Jui-yuan (薛瑞元) said on Wednesday. Hsieh announced the plan after the Ministry of Health and Welfare in January said it would expand the Long-term Care Plan 2.0 to include a subsidy for families to enable them to send a family member in need of care to a short-term facility or employ a short-term care assistant for up to 52 days.
The two policies are examples of how the ministry is trying to better meet the needs of families in need of care services. They come as care demand is expected to increase rapidly. The ministry forecasts that the number of people in need of long-term care would climb to 1 million in 2026 from 820,000 last year. The Long-term Care Plan 2.0 was launched in 2017 to create an affordable and accessible long-term care system, and ensure that elderly and disabled people receive better care. It includes subsidies for in-home or facility care services, shuttle bus services, assistive devices, transforming people’s homes into a barrier-free environment and respite care services.
However, Taiwan’s 100,000 care facility residents and 200,000 people being cared for by migrant caregivers were previously excluded. Social welfare groups and lawmakers have championed calls for better services for disabled people and their families, highlighting discrepancies between services covered by the long-term care plan and their actual needs. The main problem is that the health ministry’s plan does not integrate services offered by migrant caregivers under the purview of the Ministry of Labor.
Many affected families have said it is too difficult to find a suitable migrant in-home caregiver — an issue that is exacerbated by regulations that impose waiting periods before families can replace a worker who left their job without prior notice. Many families also distrust residential facilities, thinking that taking care of an elderly family member at home is a matter of filial piety. Despite cultural and language barriers and often insufficient training, hiring a migrant caregiver remains the option of choice for many families, as migrants offer one-on-one services around the clock for a minimum salary of NT$20,000 per month. Hiring a care service that employs Taiwanese professionals costs two to three times that amount, while service is limited to fewer hours. Migrant caregivers often find their duties overwhelming, and there is too little rest and emotional support available to them. The prospect of a job in a factory, for which their average salary is NT$30,000 per month, is tempting for many migrants, while others see their in-home care job in Taiwan as a stepping stone to better employment in a third country.
Meanwhile, many families say respite care services might not be suitable, as it would take a temporary caregiver too much time to learn how to address all the needs of the person they should care for, while other families are not aware that they are eligible for those services. Government data showed that only 5 percent of eligible families booked respite care services last year. While the overall number of migrant workers has returned to pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels, the number of social welfare workers, including in-home caregivers, has continued to decrease.
On Wednesday, Hsueh said: “Taiwanese prefer one-on-one 24/7 long-term care services, but if we continue to go in this direction, we will never have enough care workers.” Meanwhile, a Control Yuan report on the long-term care plan said that while the number of care facilities is rising, quality remains uneven, as there is no sufficient monitoring mechanism. The health ministry should address this issue, while continuing to expand the plan. It should also enhance cross-ministerial efforts to integrate services offered by migrant workers into Taiwan’s long-term care architecture.
As China’s economy was meant to drive global economic growth this year, its dramatic slowdown is sounding alarm bells across the world, with economists and experts criticizing Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) for his unwillingness or inability to respond to the nation’s myriad mounting crises. The Wall Street Journal reported that investors have been calling on Beijing to take bolder steps to boost output — especially by promoting consumer spending — but Xi has deep-rooted philosophical objections to Western-style consumption-driven growth, seeing it as wasteful and at odds with his goal of making China a world-leading industrial and technological powerhouse, and
For Xi Jinping (習近平) and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the military conquest of Taiwan is an absolute requirement for the CCP’s much more fantastic ambition: control over our solar system. Controlling Taiwan will allow the CCP to dominate the First Island Chain and to better neutralize the Philippines, decreasing the threat to the most important People’s Liberation Army (PLA) Strategic Support Force (SSF) space base, the Wenchang Satellite Launch Center on Hainan Island. Satellite and manned space launches from the Jiuquan and Xichang Satellite Launch Centers regularly pass close to Taiwan, which is also a very serious threat to the PLA,
During a news conference in Vietnam on Sept. 10, a reporter asked US President Joe Biden about the possibility of China invading Taiwan. Biden replied that Chinese President Xi Jinping (習近平) is too busy handling major domestic economic problems to launch an invasion of Taiwan. On Wednesday last week, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office published a document outlining 21 measures to make the Chinese-controlled Fujian Province into a demonstration zone for relations with Taiwan. The planned measures would expand favorable treatment for Taiwanese people and companies, and seek to attract people from Taiwan to buy property and seek employment in Fujian.
Taiwan is beautiful — no doubt about it. In Taipei, the streets are clean, the skyline is gorgeous and the subway is world-class. The coastline is easily accessible and mountains can be seen in the distance. The people are hardworking, successful and busy. Every luxury known to humankind is available and people live on their smartphones. As an American visiting for the first time, here are some things I learned about the country. First, people from Taiwan and America love freedom and democracy and have for many years. When we defeated Japan in 1945, Taiwan was freed from Japanese rule. In