Restrictions on application for importing foreign caregivers in Taiwan could be relaxed. As the city is becoming an aging society, it appears that many families are not allowed to import foreign caregivers due to strict restrictions.
Some families even take their risk in order to get fake Barthel Index Certificate, an indicator of person’s performance in activities of daily living, which is an important evidence for an applicant seeking to obtain foreign caregivers.
Others voice their satisfaction toward the government and call for it to relax the current restrictions, under which an applicant seeking to obtain a foreign caregiver has to pass evaluation tests by a doctor and a medical personnel; he or she must be incapable of performing daily activities such as eating, dressing, and moving and requires 24 hours attention from a caregiver; and his or her Barthel Index has to be below 35 points.
According to an official statistic by Taiwanese Council of Labour Affairs (CLA)’s Vocational Training Bureau, there were 187,000 foreign caregivers and 2,000 foreign housemaids in the city as of July 2012.
On the call for the adjustment of requirements on importing foreign caregivers, a CLA official has said that the CLA has made a decision to relax the restrictions.
Fu Hui-chih, a section chief at the CLA’s Vocational Training Bureau said the adjustment on the requirements was made in 2006. A Barthel Index Certificate is only used as supportive evidence; only when a doctor indicates that a person needs 24 hours attention from a caregiver; he or she will be able to apply for a foreign caregiver.
He acknowledged that although the requirement has been adjusted, and a Barthel Index Certificate is now only used as supportive evidence, many doctors are still familiar of using the index as a reference of a person’s capability in daily activities as it also could help prevent dispute between a doctor and a patient.
Office of Labour Affairs in Taipei May, 2012