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SLW visits Wong Tai Sin District (with photos)

     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, paid a visit to Wong Tai Sin District this afternoon (March 22) during which he toured a social services complex cum elderly home and attended an exchange session with the Wong Tai Sin District Council.

     Accompanied by the District Officer (Wong Tai Sin), Mrs Angel Choi, Mr Cheung first toured the Sik Sik Yuen Social Services Complex, where he received a briefing by the Chairman of Sik Sik Yuen, Dr Chan Tung, on its services. Other than the provision of general out-patient clinical services, the seven-storey Complex also houses the Ho Yam Care and Attention Home for the Elderly, which is the largest under the management of Sik Sik Yuen. The Home, with 272 care and attention places, provides a continuum of care for its elderly residents requiring medical, nursing and daily living care.

     During the visit, Mr Cheung was briefed on the daily operation of the optometry centre, and the general out-patient and dental clinics. He also toured the pharmacy of the Home and took the opportunity to talk to the elderly residents there to learn more about their living conditions and welfare needs.

     Mr Cheung pointed out that the Government is committed to enhancing both the quality and quantity of elderly care services. The relevant recurrent expenditure in 2016-17 is $7.4 billion, registering an increase of 8.5 per cent compared with the current financial year. More than 60 per cent of the expenditure is devoted to subsidised residential care services.

     "Regarding the subsidised residential care places, some 2 000 additional subsidised residential care places have commenced or will commence services between 2014-15 and 2018-19. As at January 2016, the Social Welfare Department had earmarked sites in 13 development projects or vacant premises for construction or conversion into residential care homes for the elderly (RCHEs), providing about 1 400 subsidised and non-subsidised residential care places. Moreover, we are collaborating with some 40 non-governmental organisations to actively pursue some 60 projects under the Special Scheme on Privately Owned Sites for Welfare Uses. It is estimated that on the elderly care side alone, about 9 000 additional places will be made available. These include 7 000 residential places and 2 000 day care places for the elderly," Mr Cheung said.

     "For frail elderly persons with the need for long-term care services, one of our important principles is to promote a continuum of care in subsidised residential care homes so that the elderly residents can continue to reside in the same care homes when their health conditions deteriorate. In 2013-14, we allocated additional resources to increase the subsidy for some 7 000 care-and-attention places with continuum of care. The RCHE that I visited today, Ho Yam Care and Attention Home for the Elderly, is one of these residential care homes. Moreover, we have also upgraded some 7 800 residential care places in subsidised homes to those with continuum of care. This allows residential care homes to recruit more staff to cope with the care needs of elderly residents with deteriorating health conditions," Mr Cheung added.

     Mr Cheung later proceeded to Lung Cheung Office Block to meet the Chairman of the Wong Tai Sin District Council (WTSDC), Mr Li Tak-hong; the Vice-chairman of the WTSDC, Mr Lai Wing-ho; and some members of the WTSDC, to listen to their views on local affairs and various matters.

     Afterwards, Mr Cheung attended a WTSDC meeting to brief members on the consultation documents on retirement protection.

Ends/Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Issued at HKT 18:25


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