Following is a speech by the Secretary for Health and Welfare, Dr. E.K. Yeoh,at the Opening Ceremony of Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Nursing Home today (Saturday):
Rev. Kwong, Ms. Lau, ladies and gentlemen,
Today I am honoured to be invited to officiate at the opening ceremony of the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui (SKH) Nursing Home.
Hong Kong's population is aging. At present, the number of elderly people aged 60 or over is 1 million. In ten years' time, the elderly population will exceed 1.2 million, representing some 16% of the total population. In his first Policy Address, the Chief Executive identified "care for the elderly" as one of the Strategic Policy Objectives of the HKSAR Government. Our policy is to provide "a sense of security, a sense of belonging and a feeling of health and worthiness" for our elderly population. To achieve this objective, the Government and voluntary organizations have hooked together to provide a wide range of services for the elderly and their families with the aim of helping families to care for their elderly members.
Nursing homes are a new type of residential care service in Hong Kong. It provides care and medication services to the frail elderly who are normally not admitted into care and attention homes. Their introduction represents a milestone in the development of long-term care services for the frail elderly providing elderly residents with comprehensive personal and nursing care, as well as rehabilitation services.
The six nursing homes throughout the territory all came into operation in 1999, offering a total of 1 400 places. I am sure this is welcomed by elderly people in need.
SKH is noted for its distinguished service to the community. Since 1973, it has provided different services for various groups. Starting from 1996, it has implemented the "Premium Service Journey" programme aimed at seeking continuous improvements in service quality and the scheme has won HKCSS's "Best Management Award" at their 50th anniversary ceremony. Sheng Kung Hui and its member organizations have made notable contributions by providing nursing care, health, counselling and employment services for the elderly, children, youth, families, rehabilitants, new arrivals and other people in need throughout Hong Kong and Macau, with more than 200 service units.
The establishment of Hong Kong SKH Nursing Home will further enhance SKH's residential care services for the elderly and provide more comprehensive care for our senior citizens. I am confident that, under the able leadership of the committee members and with the dedicated efforts of all staff, the Nursing Home will fulfil SKH's service mission of "Individual Caring and Overall Concerns" and enable all its elderly residents to enjoy a "peace of mind", as the opening song goes.
END/Saturday, January 15, 2000