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Transcript of remarks by SLW on rehabilitation services

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, on rehabilitation services after officiating at the kick-off ceremony of voluntary care campaign organised by the Federation of Hong Kong Chiu Chow Community Organizations today (October 25):

Reporter: When will be the discussion on the transportation connecting to these vacant school premises (to be converted into integrated social service centres)?

Secretary for Labour and Welfare: We will definitely ensure that there would be accessible transport facilities there. And we will also provide, for example, Rehabus Services, to ensure that the clients can be transported there conveniently. And in fact, in our planning, we will take account of transportation and accessibility, as one of the important elements.

Reporter: By the time being, how long is the waiting time for persons with disabilities for residential care service?

Secretary for Labour and Welfare: I am pretty confident that with the advent of these three vacant schools turning to integrated social services centres, we will go a long way towards easing the long waiting time, in particular, there are a few categories with a pretty long waiting time, for example, the severely mentally handicapped, the moderately mentally handicapped and also the severely physically disabled people. I am sure that it will ease considerably the waiting time. And also together with the two major projects coming up, one is actually redeveloping in-situ building at the ex-Siu Lam Hospital site in Castle Peak, turning it into Hong Kong's largest rehabilitation complex, providing 1 150 residential places, and also about 500 day care places. These will be very important milestones forward. I am sure in the next five to 10 years, we can actually break the back of the present so-called long waiting time, particularly for rehabilitation services and also go a long way towards improving the situation for elderly services as well, because we are talking about a special site scheme (the Special Scheme on Privately Owned Sites for Welfare Uses) launched recently. There will be 63 projects in a pipeline. On completion, they will provide over 9 000 places for elderly care, and over 7 000 places for rehabilitation services. So we are moving ahead in a very strategic fashion to tackle Hong Kong's problems of an ageing population and also the long queuing time for rehabilitation services.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Sunday, October 25, 2015
Issued at HKT 13:36


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