The Executive Yuan’s long-term care task force held its first meeting today to discuss the establishment of a quality, affordable and accessible long-term care system. Headed by Minister-without-Portfolio Lin Wan-I, the task force was formed under the new administration to implement long-term care policies, create a comprehensive care service system, increase resources and cultivate care workers.
The meeting centered on a reboot of the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s (MOHW) National 10-year Long-term Care Plan that was approved in 2007 by the Executive Yuan. On the front end, the version 2.0 plan will promote the health and well-being of senior citizens by integrating early-stage preventative health care and encouraging seniors to be more active so as to minimize disabilities. On the back end, it will provide multipurpose community-type services and at-home end-of-life hospice care to ease the burden on family members. This wide range of continual care services from home- and community-based services to institutional care will lend greater support to affected families.
The “long-term care 2.0 plan” will also integrate resources across government agencies while promoting innovative services such as dementia care, integrated services for remote indigenous communities, small-scale multifunctional services, and family caregiver support stations. The budget for these efforts is expected to run about NT$20.7 billion (US$638.9 million) for 2017.
Committee members commended the MOHW on the new plan and provided recommendations on integrating community care models and operating mechanisms. Lin instructed the ministry to help improve public understanding by consolidating the operating models, personnel requirements and facilities of different service programs. He also directed the ministry to be mindful of rural-urban gaps, remain flexible, and cooperate actively with local governments.
Today’s meeting focused on such practical topics as community care stations, long-term care workers, cooperation among central and local governments and the private sector, as well as resources for indigenous groups, veterans and remote communities. Minister Lin hoped today’s discussions and recommendations will help speed up the establishment of the long-term care system and improve the quality of life for care providers and receivers.
The missions of the Executive Yuan long-term care task force include consultation and implementation of policies, and coordination and supervision of interministerial tasks. MOHW Deputy Minister Lu Pau-ching serves as deputy convener and chief executive officer of the task force, which consists of central and local government officials, various experts and scholars, and representatives of professional service groups.