2009-10 Policy Address by Chief Executive (13)

Rehabilitation Services

Persons with Disabilities

102. Our rehabilitation policy aims to provide various rehabilitation services to support persons with disabilities, their families and carers, so that they can live happily and harmoniously in the community.

103. We have set up 16 District Support Centres since January 2009 to provide one-stop community support services for persons with disabilities who live at home, and for their families.

104. Increasing subvented residential care places aside, we will continue to assist non-governmental organisations in developing self-financing residential care homes, and introduce a pilot Bought Place Scheme for residential care homes for persons with disabilities.  Through these measures, we aim to shorten the waiting time and encourage the market to develop more service options for persons with disabilities.  We will introduce a bill into the Legislative Council to set up a licensing scheme to raise the service quality of residential care homes to prescribed levels. Moreover, we will provide additional places for day training and vocational rehabilitation services to enhance the employability of persons with disabilities.  We will also provide additional places for pre-school rehabilitation services for children with disabilities.

105. In light of the ageing profile of residents in subvented residential care homes for the mentally handicapped, we will strengthen physiotherapy, nursing care and other support services for them to maintain their physical abilities and health.

Mental Health

106. Community support for discharged mental patients has recently become a public concern.  To strengthen support for people with mental illness at the community level, the HA will pilot a case management programme in some districts in the next financial year to provide continuous and customised intensive community support for those with severe conditions.  If this pilot programme is successful, we will gradually extend it to cover all districts within three years.

107. The HA will promote collaboration between psychiatric specialist out-patient service and the primary healthcare service.  The psychiatric specialist out-patient clinics will enhance their assessment service for common mental disorders and focus on patients with complex needs, and refer in a timely manner those with less severe conditions to the primary healthcare service for follow-up.  The HA will also support the primary healthcare service in providing integrated mental healthcare to these patients.

108. We set up the first Integrated Community Centre for Mental Wellness in Tin Shui Wai in March this year.  We will revamp the community mental health support services and set up similar centres in all 18 districts, and will enhance their services for persons with severe mental illness to keep pace with the HA's case management programme.  We will increase the number of medical social workers.

Supporting Domestic Violence Victims

109. Over the past few years, we have allocated additional resources to strengthen the preventive and support services for victims of domestic violence and families in need.  In the coming year, we will put in place a new programme to provide victims with emotional support and relevant information on legal proceedings and community services.

Social Enterprises

110. Through the joint efforts of the Government, business sector and charitable organisations, social enterprises have created employment opportunities for the disadvantaged and promoted a caring culture.  I am pleased to see the community establish organisations of social enterprises on their own initiative.  These organisations, including the Hong Kong General Chamber of Social Enterprises and the Hong Kong Social Entrepreneurship Forum, can facilitate experience sharing and co-operation among the enterprises.  The Secretary for Home Affairs will set up a Social Enterprise Advisory Committee to advise the Government on the development of social enterprises. We will enhance cross-sector collaboration by encouraging more management experts to join the mentorship scheme and forging partnerships between social enterprise operators and commercial organisations or professionals.  We will encourage tertiary institutions to participate in nurturing social entrepreneurs, and continue to engage various sectors in promoting the development of social enterprises.

Supporting Job Seekers

111. To support job seekers, the Government will set up a pioneer one-stop employment and training centre in Tin Shui Wai to integrate the services of various organisations.  To help those living in remote areas find a job, we will, on a trial basis, lend NGOs search terminals connected to the extensive employer network and job vacancy database of the Labour Department (LD).  The LD will also disseminate information on job vacancies and job fairs via Short Message Service to job seekers registered with the department. Last February, the LD set up a recruitment centre for the catering industry.  Given the encouraging results, the department will establish a recruitment centre for the retail industry in mid-2010.

(To be continued)

Ends/Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Issued at HKT 12:26