Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
LCQ21: Hospitalisation of elderly persons living in subsidised residential care homes for the elderly

     Following is a question by the Hon Leung Yiu-chung and a written reply by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, in the Legislative Council today (October 22):


     The family members of some elderly people have relayed to me that when elderly people residing in subsidised residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) are staying in public hospitals because of illness, they are required to pay medical fees (hospital fees) on the one hand, and continue to pay RCHEs accommodation fees (RCHE fees) on the other. However, the financial assistance provided by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) may not be sufficient to cover such costs. In this connection, will the Government inform this Council:

(1) of the assistance provided by SWD to those elderly singletons who lack the financial means to pay both the hospital and RCHE fees concurrently; whether SWD will exercise discretion to pay the hospital and RCHE fees for them; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that; and

(2) regarding those elderly people who cannot afford RCHE fees during hospitalisation and are hence required to move out of RCHEs, whether SWD will arrange temporary accommodation for them and make arrangements for their re-admission to RCHEs; if it will, of the details; if not, the reasons for that?



     Regarding the two parts of Hon Leung Yiu-chung's question, my consolidated reply is set out below:

     At present, elderly persons living in subsidised residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs) are required to pay a monthly fee ranging from $502 to $2,000, depending on the type of subsidised residential care places. According to the Procedures on Registration and Allocation of Long Term Care Services, if residents of subsidised RCHEs have been hospitalised for over two months and the date of discharge cannot be confirmed within a short period, the RCHEs in which they originally reside would classify them as "cases of temporary discharge" and they will not be required to pay the monthly RCHE fees commencing from the third month since they have left the RCHEs. When they are fit for discharge from hospital, they will be arranged for re-admission to the same RCHEs as before.

     As regards the first two months of hospitalisation, if the elderly persons concerned are receiving Comprehensive Social Security Assistance (CSSA), they will continue to receive standard payments to pay for the RCHE fees. Generally speaking, CSSA recipients are exempted from all medical charges at public hospitals.

     If the elderly persons concerned are not CSSA recipients and cannot afford the medical charges of public health services, they may approach the medical social services units of the public hospitals where they receive treatment or integrated family service centres of the Social Welfare Department to apply for medical fee waivers. Social workers will, depending on the circumstances, help elderly persons with financial difficulties seek other assistance (such as applying for charitable funds) for settling the RCHE fees for the first two months after hospitalisation.

Ends/Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Issued at HKT 12:47


Print this page