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Cabinet approves expanded eligibility for hiring foreign caregivers


At the Cabinet's weekly meeting Thursday, Premier Chen Chien-jen received a Ministry of Health and Welfare briefing on diversifying methods to determine households' application eligibility for hiring foreign caregivers. The premier said the government's new policy will adopt more ways to determine households' eligibility to apply for employment permits for foreign caregivers, as alternatives to the current requirement that individuals must be assessed by the Barthel Index, a scale measuring functional independence for activities of daily living. This will lighten the burden of households looking after elderly people with disabilities or impairments.

The premier said the government is broadening conditions to target three main categories: individuals who have employed long-term care services for at least six consecutive months; individuals with dementia; and individuals with a mobility impairment, rare disease, loss of swallowing function or who require respiratory support. It is estimated that the expanded eligibility will benefit about 600,000 people.

To respond to the increased need for the care of frail elderly in an aged society, the government has in recent years continued to update its long-term care strategy, the premier said. The Long-term Care Plan 2.0 increases spending and investment and expands the number of service centers to build a comprehensive service network and subsidy payment system. The plan is also deploying more long-term residential care facilities in every town, as well as day care centers in every junior high school district, in order to fully meet the nation's care needs.

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