Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
CS visits dental clinic to learn more about elderly dental assistance services (with photos)

     The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mrs Carrie Lam, today (November 6) visited Tung Wah Group of Hospitals (TWGHs) Carrie Sze Memorial Dental Centre in North Point. She met with elderly beneficiaries and dentists participating in the Community Care Fund (CCF) Elderly Dental Assistance Expanded Programme to learn more about the implementation of the programme. Mrs Lam also took the opportunity to inspect the operation of the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme computer system during the visit.

     Mrs Lam, accompanied by the Secretary for Food and Health, Dr Ko Wing-man; the Chairperson of the CCF Task Force, Dr Law Chi-kwong; the President of the Hong Kong Dental Association, Dr Sigmund Leung, and the 1st Vice-Chairman of the TWGHs Board, Mrs Katherine Ma, chatted with an elderly participant. Mrs Lam was glad to learn that the dentures provided under the programme have greatly benefitted the elder's daily life. She also expressed appreciation of the private dentists and dental clinics operated by non-governmental organisations participating in the programme. Mrs Lam said that the staunch support of dentists for the programme will benefit more needy elders and enable them to eat normally and thus help maintain their health in their twilight years.

     In recent years the Government has launched a series of initiatives including the Elderly Health Care Voucher Scheme as well as implementing the Elderly Dental Assistance Programme under the CCF, to strengthen dental care services for the elderly so as to enable more needy elders to receive the necessary dental services.

     Since its establishment, the CCF has launched 30 assistance programmes. People outside the existing safety net or the coverage of the Government's short-term relief measures have been identified and provided with assistance. The total commitment exceeds $6.188 billion, and more than 1 130 000 people have benefited under these programmes. Among these programmes, the CCF introduced in September 2012 the Elderly Dental Assistance Programme to provide removable dentures and other related dental services for low-income elderly persons who are users of the home care service or home help service schemes subvented by the Social Welfare Department. Having regard to the response to the programme and the operating experience, the Commission on Poverty (CoP) has decided to expand the beneficiaries of the Programme progressively to cover elderly persons who are Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) recipients in order to benefit more elders.

     The CCF Elderly Dental Assistance Expanded Programme rolled out on September 1, 2015, starting with those OALA recipients aged 80 or above in the first phase and involving some 130 000 elderly people. As at end October 2015, over 6 800 applications have been received and about 6 600 of them have their first dental appointments arranged. The CCF has earmarked about $800 million to meet the expenditure of the expanded programme for the first three years. If necessary, the CoP will consider additional allocation to tie in with the implementation progress of the expanded programme.

     In addition, the Government launched the Elderly Health Care Voucher Pilot Scheme in 2009 to subsidise local residents aged 70 or above in using private primary care services including dental care and other preventive care services. The Government converted the scheme into a recurrent programme, and increased the annual voucher amount to $2,000 per eligible elder starting from 2014.

Ends/Friday, November 6, 2015
Issued at HKT 17:29


Photo Photo Photo Photo
Print this page