CE targets job creation, promoting family values in Policy Address

     The Chief Executive, Mr Donald Tsang, has today (October 14) pledged in his Policy Address to help job seekers find work and improve people's livelihoods in the wake of the global financial crisis.     

      "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," Mr Tsang said.

     To assist job seekers in more remote areas, the Government will conduct a trial scheme to provide non-governmental organisations with search terminals connected to the Labour Department's employer network.

     Mr Tsang also said the Labour Department would use convenient messaging technology such as Short Message Service (SMS) to disseminate information on vacancies and job fairs.

     Following the successful establishment of a dedicated recruitment centre for the catering industry in February, the Government will set up a recruitment centre for the retail industry in mid-2010 to provide tailor-made employment support.

     On healthcare reform, the Chief Executive said the Government would continue to increase the healthcare budget to reach 17% by 2012, up from the current 15% of total recurrent expenditure.

     To enhance the primary care system, Mr Tsang said a territory-wide electronic health record sharing system would be developed, which would save medical costs, minimise errors and safeguard patients' health.

      "This electronic system will underpin the reform of our primary healthcare services," he said.

     Mr Tsang proposed a series of initiatives to boost elderly care services. These include:

* Increasing from 50% to 90% the proportion of nursing home places in existing subsidised contract residential care homes for the elderly;

* Starting to purchase vacant places from self-financing nursing homes and care and attention homes; and

* Making full use of the space in existing subsidised elderly homes to provide more places that offer continuous care.

      "While the supply of subsidised residential care places is important, the service quality of these homes should not be overlooked," Mr Tsang said.

     He said the Government would launch a pilot scheme to provide homes for the elderly with visiting pharmacist services to enhance the knowledge and capability of their staff in drug management.
     The Government will also provide additional subsidised day care places in districts with stronger service demand and extend the District-based Scheme on Carer Training to give greater support to carers of the elderly at district and neighbourhood levels.

     The Chief Executive urged the community to join the Government's campaign to promote a happy family environment to tackle problems in society.

      "Many social problems, including juvenile drug abuse, prostitution and the neglect of elderly people and children, can be traced back to the family," Mr Tsang said.

      "The Family Council will launch a Happy Family Campaign to promote family core values."

     The main activities of the campaign will be to liaise with stakeholders to establish an inter-disciplinary and interactive information and support network.

     The Chief Executive highlighted the urgency of dealing with youth drug abuse and said the Government Laboratory would take the lead in bringing in hair drug testing as another effective drug-testing tool.

     He also said Hong Kong was joining hands with the Mainland's public security authorities to combat cross-boundary drug abuse and trafficking.

Ends/Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Issued at HKT 13:56