Premier Su Tseng-chang on Thursday said that the government will devote its full resources to building a complete and close-knit social safety net to protect those most in need of care. The hope is that a high-quality and multifunctional service network with sufficient capacity can help bring even greater happiness and security to Taiwan society.
The premier's remarks came at a Thursday Cabinet meeting following a presentation by the Ministry of Health and Welfare on the second phase (spanning 2021 to 2025) of a program to strengthen Taiwan's social safety net.
To construct a better social safety net, in 2018 the government initiated the first phase of the current program and over three years invested almost NT$7 billion (US$250.5 million). The budget for the second phase has been increased by sixfold to over NT$40 billion (US$1.4 billion). The premier said that dedicated manpower will be expanded, salaries raised, and long-term employment in the field encouraged. An evaluation mechanism will also be instituted to adjust the subsidy ratio to local governments based on performance, spurring proactive local-level implementation of the policy.
In addition, future endeavors will focus on strengthening the integration of and cooperation among various ministries and their public-sector partners within a cross-system, cross-specialization framework, so that service mechanisms, transfer processes and information interfaces can all operate more quickly and smoothly. Other efforts will include boosting community mental health systems and community support services, setting up community mental health centers to promote community care for mental health patients, and establishing forensic psychiatric hospitals and forensic psychiatric wards help patients return to society. All of these efforts are designed to build a dense and seamless social safety net to maximize efficacy.