Taipei, Sept. 6 (CNA) The Council of Labor Affairs (CLA) said Thursday that regulations regarding the hiring of foreign caregivers have been eased and will take effect later this month at the earliest.
Under the new regulations, people over 80 years old who score less than 60 on an assessment index called Barthel's Score, which assesses a person's ability to perform daily functions, will be eligible to hire foreign caregivers.
The eased regulations will take effect in mid-September at the earliest, said Fu Hui-chih, a CLA official.
It is estimated that 33,000 senior citizens will benefit from the eased regulations, Fu said.
Under current regulations, people can apply to the CLA for one foreign caregiver if they are seriously disabled mentally or physically, need round-the-clock care as assessed by a medical institution, or score under 35 on Barthel's Score.
If a person does not satisfy the current requirements, even if he or she is 100 years old, family members are not allowed to apply for a more affordable foreign caregiver.
Taiwan's long-term care system has been plagued by the high price of local caregivers, strict requirements for hiring foreign caregivers, and insufficient nursing homes for the elderly.
To address the issues, the CLA invited officials from the Department of Health, the Ministry of the Interior, labor groups and scholars to a meeting in April to discuss the easing of regulations concerning hiring foreign caregivers.
(By Zoe Wei and Lilian Wu)