Origin and Expectation

Founder of CSPHA
Wai-tien Kuo

With the trend in aging society and low birth rate, Taiwan has become one of the countries that has the fastest growth in aging population around the world. Therefore, responding to the issues of taking care of the disabled and the elderly as well as medical care service are now the two biggest challenges and burdens for both government and society. As for caregivers, they have to deal with great pressure and daily complex works such as helping patients go to toilet, getting patients on to and off the bed, turning patients over and transfer.

According to the official statistics, there are more than 700 thousand people who need long-term care in Taiwan, whereas there are only 240 thousand caregivers, and 200 thousand of them are foreigners who have not been trained in home care service. It makes me worry about the safety of patients.

General caregivers often get occupational injuries such as aching back and strain while transferring patients because they lack the notion about using assistive equipments with proper ergonomics. On the other hand, the patients are under great risk of second injuries since they are not being taken care of appropriately. Preventing the elderly from falling is another major issue that the government and the general public should be aware of.

In 1992, England was the first to set a national standard to reduce the harm caused by moving patients without any assistance. Thereafter, Australia and other Western countries also introduced similar legislation. The principle they established is called “No-Lift Policy,” and it has become an international standard. By contrast, Taiwan does not value the quality of long-term care, not to mention enacting related regulation.

Having been working in medical care industry for about 40 years, I'm familiar with Taiwan's health care environment. First of all, we do not have enough professionals and social welfare resources. Second, the relevant information is not abundant, either. Third, it is urgent to build up the notion and system of safe patient handling and movement. I believe that if people have ability to dedicate themselves to society, they should do it. Therefore, I invited 48 scholars and experts of related fields to found “Chinese Safe Patient Handling & Movement Association” (CSPHA). Our goal is to be a non-governmental organization, promoting and setting up No-Lift Policy, meaning a principle that encourages people not to lift and not to transfer patients by their hands. Furthermore, we value the education in moving patients with proper ergonomics and focus on the importance of both caregivers' and patients' safety.

Last but not least, I sincerely thank all the promoters' participation and devotion. With our efforts, I hope we can gain support from government and the public, and further attract more people to dive in the campaign to make a safer and higher-quality health care environment in Taiwan.