President Tsai Ing-wen said May 8 that the government is leaving no stone unturned in strengthening working conditions for nurses and attracting talents to this vital occupation.
Nurses are crucial in delivering quality health care, Tsai said. To ensure they enjoy full rights and dignity in the workplace, a host of new measures have been enacted such as the addition of nurse-patient ratios to hospital evaluations, she added.
Other initiatives include the publication of these proportions each month and the awarding of bonus payments from the National Health Insurance program to hospitals that achieve designated ratios, the president said.
Tsai made the remarks at an event celebrating Taiwan’s nursing personnel held in the run-up to International Nurses Day May 12. Organized by Taipei City-based Taiwan Union of Nurses Association and Taiwan Nurses Association, the gathering also recognized participants for outstanding and long-term contributions to the vocation.
According to Tsai, in addition to improving working conditions, the government is implementing forward-looking policies aimed at easing the burden on nurses by bolstering community health care. These measures include stepped-up funding for at-home nursing services, smart health care technologies, and public health education and research.
Also in the pipeline is a Ministry of Health and Welfare plan for the development of Taiwan’s nursing workforce through 2030. Set to be launched next year, the initiative is targeted at ensuring sufficient manpower in the field over the following decade, Tsai said.
According to the MOHW, efforts aimed at encouraging nurses to remain in the profession are paying dividends, with the vacancy rate in registered nursing positions dropping to 4.5 percent in 2018 from 6 percent in 2016.
The government is also committed to providing greater career development opportunities for nurses, the ministry said. This is evidenced by a program launched in 2017 offering financial incentives and startup consultancy services for nurses seeking to establish at-home care enterprises, the MOHW added. (CPY-E)