Elderly Services Programme Plan endorsed by Elderly Commission
The Elderly Commission (EC) held its 91st meeting today (June 23). At the meeting, the Elderly Services Programme Plan (ESPP) was considered and endorsed by the EC. The EC will formally submit the ESPP to the Government shortly.
In response to the challenges arising from the ageing population, the Government tasked the EC in 2014 to formulate an ESPP to strengthen the medium-to-long term planning of elderly services. To take forward the task, the EC set up the Working Group on Elderly Services Programme Plan (Working Group) and a consulting team was engaged by the Government to assist the EC and the Working Group. After three stages of deliberation and public engagement, the Working Group earlier submitted the ESPP to the EC for consideration.
"The trend of population ageing in Hong Kong is among the fastest in Asia, and there will be numerous challenges facing elderly services in future. For instance, the shrinking labour force and smaller pool of family carers in the midst of a growing elderly population, the ever-increasing demand for long-term care services and expenditure, and service users' aspirations for more diversified services and greater autonomy," said the Chairman of the EC and the Working Group, Dr Lam Ching-choi.
"Society generally supports the policy of 'ageing-in-place as core'. In our formulation process, we have listened to the views of stakeholders, analysed the inadequacies of existing services, and tackled the problems with solutions. The ESPP proposes four strategic directions to guide the future development of elderly services, as well as 20 short, medium and long term recommendations to strengthen service planning in aspects including service supply, land, manpower and financial input. These recommendations will help enhance the quality and quantity of our elderly services," Dr Lam added.
The four strategic directions put forth in the ESPP are:
(i) Achieve "ageing-in-place" and reduce the institutionalisation rate through significantly strengthening community care services;
(ii) Enable informed choices and timely access to quality services;
(iii) Further streamline and promote integrated service delivery; and
(iv) Ensure financial sustainability and accountability of elderly services.
"The ESPP is a document that crystalises the wisdom of many. Thanks to the active participation of some 2 000 stakeholders, which include colleagues from the sector, elderly persons and their carers, we received a lot of valuable opinions during the three public engagement exercises. I would also like to express my gratitude to members of the EC and the Working Group for their dedicated involvement and efforts throughout the formulation process, which contributed to the smooth completion of the ESPP," Dr Lam said.
The report of the ESPP was endorsed at the EC meeting and will be formally submitted to the Government after some editorial amendments.
Ends/Friday, June 23, 2017
Issued at HKT 18:52
Issued at HKT 18:52