Chair of Alzheimer’s Disease International visits the Control Yuan
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Mr. Glenn Rees, chair of Alzheimer’s Disease International, visited the Control Yuan on August 28, 2017. He was received by President Chang Po-ya, who was accompanied by Vice President Sun Ta-chuan, Members Jane Y.W. Chiang and Lin Ya-feng, and Deputy Secretary-General Hsu Hai-chuan. Both parties had a fruitful exchange on the latest global development of dementia policy, the human rights of people with dementia, and ROC’s national policy on dementia prevention and support.
During the meeting, President Chang said that the Control Yuan is the national ombudsman institution under the ROC five-power system. Aside from its mandates to promote good governance, the Control Yuan, in practice, performs the functions of protecting people’s rights. Since 2009, the ROC has ratified five international human rights conventions, and the Control Yuan is able to monitor their domestic implementation based on these norms to safeguard human rights. With Taiwan’s aging population and increasing number of people with dementia, President Chang further pointed out that several urgent issues are not to be overlooked. They include: promoting early diagnosis and treatment of dementia, strengthening the supporting network, and reinforcing the number of care givers. Early in August, the Control Yuan concluded an investigation of the Ministry of Health and Welfare’s Dementia Policy and Objectives in its ten-year Long-term Care Plan, and listed 9 areas for improvement. The Control Yuan shall continue to monitor the subsequent improvements on this issue.
Mr. Rees commented that dementia is a challenge to global public health. He suggested to formally recognize the rights of people with dementia and their caregivers through legislation and monitoring, increase public and professional awareness in understanding dementia, and improve community support services. In a systematic and flexible manner, it will help reduce discriminatory practices and contribute to a dementia friendly society.
During Mr. Rees’ time as the CEO of Alzheimer’s Australia, he was a pushing force behind Australian government’s pioneering decision to list dementia as a national health priority area. He set an example for all by helping to secure important funding commitments to tackle dementia that contributed to timely diagnosis, acute care, dementia risk reduction etc. Mr. Rees was invited by Taiwan Alzheimer’s Disease Association (TADA) to attend a conference on August 26. On his visit to the Control Yuan, he was accompanied by TADA’s Secretary-General Tang Li-yu and lawyer Niu Mei-mei.