Caregiver laws need easing to aid disabled: lawmakers


TAIPEI — Lawmakers and rights groups yesterday urged the government to relax regulations governing the hiring of foreign caregivers so more disabled people can apply for their services.

The lawmakers, dozens of disabled people, and representatives of around 10 groups demanded an easing of rules to allow all severely disabled people and families with two moderately disabled people the right to apply for foreign caregivers. The request was made at a legislative hearing held by ruling Kuomintang (KMT) Legislator Yang Yu-hsin to call attention to disability issues. Yang suffers from a rare genetic disorder and is confined to a wheelchair. Under current regulations, only people with certain types of severe disability or those defined by health institutes as requiring 24-hour care are able to apply for caregivers from abroad. “Visually impaired people are excluded from applying for foreign caregivers, even if we suffer from severe vision impairment,” said Kuo Shu-chi, secretary-general of a local family care association for the disabled and a victim of vision impairment.