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Government approves social care plan until 2018

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Prague, Feb 20 (CTK) – The government approved yesterday an action plan of social services development in 2017-2018 that includes the improvement of the quality and funding of care for the disabled, elderly and dying, cabinet spokesman Martin Ayrer has tweeted.
The strategic document, which updates the tasks to develop social services, was worked out and submitted by Labour and Social Affairs Minister Michaela Marksova (Social Democrats, CSSD).
According to the plan, the state must secure the transition from the prevailing institutional care for the disabled and elderly to home care as well as a long-term sustainable financing of social services that meet the users’ needs.
The coalition government of the CSSD, ANO and Christian Democrats (KDU-CSL) also pledged to improve the position of the people who look after their elderly and disabled family members.
The palliative care, that is the care for the dying, should be embedded in the law on social service. At present it comes under the Health Ministry.
However, the current form of these services does not reflect the needs of the dying and their family members. Besides, the Health Ministry has not dealt with the palliative and hospice care in a long and systemic way, the Labour and Social Affairs Ministry points out.
Its plan also accounts for an increase in the pay of workers in social services.
A reform of the psychiatric care system will further continue, according to the plan.
Furthermore, the ministry wants the law on social services, which took effect in 2007, to be amended to make the state subsidies to social services mandatory by 2020.
Under the valid law, the service providers annually apply for subsidies, which are discretionary, however.
The ministry will assess a few variants of a system of mandatory subsidies in this area and a method of the money to be distributed among regions.
In 2015, there were almost 5,600 registered social services in the Czech Republic which 126,000 people used.
The number of job contracts in social services is estimated at about 100,000 now. However, the pay in this area is low.
The people who look after the disabled or elderly receive 12,000-15,000 crowns gross monthly. Qualified social workers, who graduated from a vocational school or university, earn 18,000-22,000 crowns a month.
There are some 17,500 social workers in the Czech Republic with a population of 10.5 million. About 330,000 senior and disabled citizens take benefits for care, while in 2007 this figure was 75,000 lower.
The demand for this type of social aid and care will be rising with the population ageing.
($1=25.372 crowns)

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