The Ministry of Health and Welfare’s long-term healthcare 2.0 project has grown to serve nearly four times the number of people it handled when it started five years ago, it told the Cabinet yesterday.
The program is serving 470,000 people, or 3.8 times more than in 2017, while its coverage has surged by more than 300 percent to cover 67.03 percent of the nation and its budget has increased to NT$60.7 billion (US$2 billion) since 2016, it said.
A Taiwan Marketing Research poll, commissioned by the ministry, showed that more than 90 percent of respondents over three consecutive years said they were satisfied with the program and how it alleviated stress for people caring for those with long-term illnesses.
The program received a 97.6 percent satisfaction rating last year, demonstrating that the public supports the initiative, the ministry said.
Since its inception, the program’s main goal has been to establish at-home, communal or stay-over healthcare for people who require long-term care, establish payment schemes for workers, guarantee wages for long-term healthcare workers, increase service coverage, and develop measures to prevent or slow the loss of cognitive abilities among older people.
The program provides care through three types of centers: Category A is comprised of communal integrative service centers, category B are composite service centers and category C consists of front-end care centers.
Premier Su Tseng-chang (蘇貞昌) said that the number of service locations across all three categories exceeded 11,000 nationwide, while the “one day care center per school area” project has also grown to 760 centers, with the two combining for a total national coverage rate of 65 percent.
Su has instructed the ministry to continue to improve the initiative and said he would ask agencies such as the Ministry of Labor, the Ministry of Education, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Financial Supervisory Commission to help with the program.
The health ministry said it wants the program to change the public’s perception of long-term healthcare, moving from all-day and one-on-one service models to daycare centers where a few workers can aid many people, or to a small-scale multifunctional family care service model.
The ministry is encouraging people to interact more with professional care workers and help “train” people to take more responsibility in caring for themselves to reduce their need for full-time care.
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