Aged care to Taiwan
Trends and opportunities
Taiwan is currently facing challenges from its rapidly aging population. According to Taiwan’s Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW), the elderly will make up 14 per cent of the population in 2018, and 20 per cent in 2025, making Taiwan a super-aged country (Source: Long-Term Care Service Plan 2.0).
Taiwan’s current population is approximately 23.5 million (Source: Taiwan National Statistics), a similar size to Australia. However, Taiwan’s aged care industry is still in the early stages of development, compared with over 60 years of Australian experience in senior living and health services delivery.
One of the top priorities for the current Taiwan government is to provide accessible and affordable long-term healthcare especially for the elderly and those with disabilities. Most elderly in Taiwan prefer to receive care at home. According to MOHW statistics, home care services account for 68.5 per cent of all care services.
Taiwan is focusing on four long-term care categories:
- Home Care Services.
- Community Based Services (including dementia care).
- Institutional Care.
- Respite Care.
The aged care workforce shortage is one of the fundamental issues for aged care operators and the government. There are relatively low wages and social status for aged care workers, with little incentives and diversity in aged care training in Taiwan.
Aged care training needs from Taiwan include:
- tailored training courses (certified courses is a strong advantage)
- on-the-job training
- training for trainers
- short-term up-skill training courses
- certificate programs overseas and in Australia
- dementia support (strongly needed by this market)
- palliative care
- mental health.
Other opportunities in aged care industry include:
- total solutions – facility design and operation management models in aged care facilities. e.g. operational service standards, facility self-assessment, security and safety standards, and care workers recruitment, training and development
- health data recording system e.g. continuing records for the elders discharged from hospital – subject to government’s policy on personal information and privacy law.
Opportunities for collaboration with local emerging /potential aged care operators may take longer to cultivate as many developers or conglomerates are considering the future direction of the industry development, particularly in the context of limitations of or future changes in government policies or regulations.
Facilities and services
Some major Taiwanese life insurance and security companies are currently engaged in the aged care business by providing aged-care facilities and services. These companies are looking for successful business models or expertise/knowledge from successful overseas companies.
- mobility Aids – ease of use, convenient
- daily Living Aids
- health Food
- dietary Supplements
- beauty and Recreation
- telecare: mobile apps for health monitoring tracking, 3C products specially designed for the elderly, such as easy-to-use smart phone designed with large keypads and touchscreens.
- home care and institutional consulting services
- registered nurses leadership training
- caregivers training and recruitment.
As the aged care is an emerging industry in Taiwan, it is attracting foreign company interest in working with local aged care organisations.
Given the strong historical and diplomatic relationship, geographic proximity and cultural intimacy between Taiwan and Japan, as well as similar city development and structure, Japanese aged care systems and practices have become one of the key benchmarks or reference for Taiwan to follow. Aged care missions from the Taiwan Government or private sectors visit Japan every year to form business links and joint ventures.
North Europe is well-known for its high quality social welfare, including aged care. Some Taiwanese private and public sector organisations send delegations there for benchmarking purposes. For example, Taiwan’s China Productivity Centre (CPC) liaised with the Trade Council of Denmark in Taipei and organised a mission to visit various aged care facilities in Denmark in 2013. CPC also organised a second delegation to visit Denmark aged care, e-health and living lab in 2014.
Corporate Synergy Development Centre (CSDC), a leading think-tank for government, led a delegation to visit Germany in conjunction with the Medica trade fair, the world’s largest medical devices show in 2013.
Home Instead Inc. (Home care service provider) from the United States (US) signed a franchise agreement with Chinese Chemicals and Pharmaceuticals Corporation (CCPC) to provide home care services in Taiwan. The franchising business ended in 2014.
In January 2016, Mackay Junior College of Medicine, Nursing, and Management signed a MOU with Citizens for Quality Care Retirement Community (CQC) from the US. CQC is looking to share its long-term care experience with Mackay in the future.
Marketing your products and services
Aged care issues and challenges in Taiwan’s society have been drawing greater attention, with Taiwan’s long-term care policy or system in a transitioning period. The market is opening to life insurance firms and other profit seeking organisations.
Australia is known for its extensive experience in aged care with capabilities in policy, systems, operation, construction, aged care training/education, facility design and technology applications.
For Australian companies interested in entering the Taiwan aged care market, Austrade Taiwan advisers can assist in connecting to Taiwanese counterparts, provide market research and market entry strategies depending on company objectives.
Links and industry contacts
Ministry of Health and Welfare
Social and Family Affairs Administration, Ministry of Health and Welfare
Taiwan International Tradeshows Calendar
Taiwan Long-Term Care Professional Association
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