Premier Lin visits long-term care center in Nantou

  • Date: 2016-11-18
  • Source: Department of Information Services, Executive Yuan
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While  visiting  Nantou  County  today,  Premier  Lin  Chuan  said  that  the  government  is  committed  to  creating  a  community-based  model  for  long-term  care  services,  and  has  allocated  NT$20  billion  (US$633.51  million)  this  year  to  implement  the  long-term  care  2.0  plan  on  a  trial  basis.  After  the  foundation  has  been  laid,  he  said,  the  plan  will  be  expanded  to  the  entire  country.

The  premier  was  in  Nantou  to  inspect  the  three-tier  care  system  consisting  of  local  Tier  A  community-based  integrated  service  centers,  Tier  B  combined  day  care  service  centers,  and  Tier  C  long-term  care  stations  in  alleys  and  lanes.  

The  2.0  plan  is  high  on  President  Tsai  Ing-wen’s  policy  agenda,  Premier  Lin  said,  as  past  efforts  to  promote  the  long-term  care  system  were  unsuccessful  due  to  insufficient  funding  and  a  lack  of  integration  between  service  mechanisms  and  industries.  To  overcome  these  bottlenecks,  the  government  is  conducting  a  trial  run  in  nine  designated  locations  in  six  cities  and  counties  during  the  plan’s  first  phase,  creating  a  standardized  service  model  and  setting  payment  standards.  After  the  standards  are  announced,  the  plan  will  be  opened  to  private  sector  participation.

The  greatest  challenge  for  the  2.0  plan  is  finding  steady  funding,  the  premier  said.  On  October  6,  2016  the  Executive  Yuan  therefore  passed  the  Ministry  of  Health  and  Welfare’s  (MOHW)  proposed  partial  amendments  to  the  Long-term  Care  Services  Act,  stipulating  that  estate,  gift  and  tobacco  taxes  should  be  adjusted  and  used  to  provide  designated  funding  for  the  long-term  care  system.

The  draft  amendment  proposes  changing  estate  and  gift  taxes  from  a  flat  10  percent  rate,  and  instituting  a  progressive  tax  system  with  escalating  rates  of  10,  15  and  20  percent.  Estate  and  gift  taxes  are  usually  levied  on  assets  left  behind  by  high-income  earners,  and  can  be  used  to  fund  the  long-term  care  system  as  a  kind  of  contribution  to  society,  the  premier  said.

No  system  is  100  percent  perfect,  Premier  Lin  continued.  But  since  Taiwan’s  national  health  insurance  (NHI)  system  is  ranked  among  the  best  in  the  world,  providing  the  best  possible  service  for  the  least  amount  of  money,  the  premier  hopes  that  Taiwan’s  long-term  care  system  will  perform  just  as  well,  offering  the  best  service  at  the  lowest  cost  among  national  long-term  care  systems.  The  MOHW  is  responsible  for  the  NHI  and  the  long-term  care  system,  and  must  ensure  the  success  and  sustainability  of  both,  he  added.

In  addition  to  seeing  how  the  2.0  plan  operated  and  expressing  appreciation  to  the  staff  for  their  hard  work,  Premier  Lin  called  on  all  sectors  to  join  the  government  in  supporting  the  plan.  He  asked  everyone  to  share  their  compassion  and  energy  in  creating  diverse  services  that  will  allow  senior  citizens  to  receive  the  best  care  in  familiar,  supportive  environments  surrounded  by  their  families  and  friends.