COVID-19, Long-Term Care, and Migration in Asia

Countries throughout Asia are experiencing rapidly aging populations and increasing life expectancy, leading to a large and growing demand for long-term care (LTC) services. Despite the shift to providing care within communities and at home, governments are struggling to provide enough LTC to meet demand. A large part of the constraint is the lack of available workers. While many countries in the region have migration schemes to bring in LTC workers, they are insufficient. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic has had an outsized impact on older people throughout the region, and has exposed deficiencies in the structure of migrant care labor. This report explores the impact of these three dynamics—LTC, migration, and COVID-19—on the current and future LTC workforce in the Asian region. It showcases 11 countries of origin and destination, including the demand for and supply of LTC, how it is financed and resourced, and where and how migrant workers are sourced. It puts forward recommendations for how governments throughout Asia can ethically and sustainably increase LTC worker migration; improve wages, working conditions, and recruitment processes within the sector; and learn lessons from COVID-19.

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