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Taiwan: Amendment of Long-Term Care Act

(Mar. 23, 2017) Taiwan’s Long-Term Care Services Act, which was promulgated on June 3, 2015, but is not slated to become law until June 2017, was amended effective January 28, 2017. (Long-Term Care Services Law: Amendment of Long-term Care Services Law Revises Articles 15, 22, 62 and 66, THE GAZETTE OF THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, No. 7288 (Jan. 26, 2017, effective Jan. 28, 2017), Global Legal Information Network, Legislative Yuan, R.O.C., website (click on pdf icon to view Chinese text of the Presidential Order amending the Act); Wendy Zeldin, Taiwan: Long-Term Care Legislation Adopted, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (May 22, 2015).)

The amendment law adds additional goals to the ones stated in the provision on the establishment of a special fund for long-term care services, namely, to provide for long-term care services, to expand on and spread out the capacity for long-term care services, and to enrich and balance the services with human resources and subsidize various outlays. (Long-Term Care Services Law…, supra; Long-Term Care Service Act (adopted on May 15, 2015, published by Presidential Order of June 3, 2015), art. 15 ¶ 1, Ministry of Health and Welfare website (in Chinese); Long-Term Care Services Act (June 3, 2015), Ministry of Health and Welfare website (English translation).)

The amendment law also adds two possible new sources of funding to the list set forth in article 15: additional tax revenue from (1) an increase of the estate and gift tax rates from 10% to up to 20%, and (2) an increase in the tax levied on tobacco from NT$590 per thousand cigarettes (or kilogram of other tobacco products) to NT$1,590. (Long-Term Care Services Law…, supra, art. 15 ¶ 2(1)&(2).) In addition, the amendment specifies that the measures set forth under the Act Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures will not apply to these additional tax revenues. (Id. art. 15 ¶ 3; Act Governing the Allocation of Government Revenues and Expenditures (June 13, 1951, as last amended Jan. 25, 1999), Laws & Regulations Database of the Republic of China (toggle for Chinese text); Wendy Zeldin, Taiwan: Proposed Amendments to Tobacco and Alcohol Tax, GLOBAL LEGAL MONITOR (Mar. 20, 2017).)

A new (third) paragraph added to article 22 of the Act states that private institutions engaged in institutional residential long-term care services referred to in the Act that were established in accordance with the Senior Citizens Welfare Act, the Nursing Staff Act, and the Act on Protection of the Rights and Interests of Persons with Disabilities prior to the implementation of the amendment law, will be exempted, except if they expand or relocate, from the restriction that long-term care institutions that provide institutional lodging services must be established by financial organization legal persons and civic organization judicial persons (as stipulated in ¶ 1 of art. 22). (Long-Term Care Services Law…, supra, art. 22 ¶ 3; Long-Term Care Services Act, art. 22.)

Under a revised article 62, institutions that offered long-term care services pursuant to other laws prior to the enforcement of the amendment law “may continue to provide such services according to the original regulations.” (Long-Term Care Services Law…, supra, art. 62.) The amendment removes the other provisions in article 62 related to the requirement that long-term care related institutions reorganize within five years after the Act takes effect, leaving just the abovementioned provision. (Id.; Long-Term Care Services Act, art. 62.)

Finally, the amended articles will be implemented on the date of the enforcement of the Long-Term Care Services Act. (Long-Term Care Services Law…, supra, art. 66.)