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SWD invites eligible elderly persons to apply for additional 2 000 vouchers under Second Phase of Pilot Scheme on Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly
     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) today (July 24) started inviting eligible elderly persons to apply for an additional 2 000 vouchers under the Second Phase of the Pilot Scheme on Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly.

     A spokesman for the SWD said that eligible elderly persons are those who have been assessed by SWD's Standardised Care Need Assessment Mechanism for Elderly Services to have impairment at moderate or severe level and are waitlisting for subsidised community care service (CCS) or residential care service (RCS) on the Central Waiting List (CWL) for Subsidised Long Term Care (LTC) Services without receiving any kind of RCS or subsidised CCS. Invitation letters will be sent direct to the eligible elderly persons on the CWL to invite them to join the Second Phase of the Pilot Scheme. 

     The SWD spokesman said, "The Government has persistently been striving for the elderly policy direction of 'ageing in place as the core, institutional care as back-up'. It was allocated funding from the Lotteries Fund to launch the First Phase of the Scheme in September 2013 to allow needy elderly persons to receive community care services under a new funding mode, i.e. the 'money-following-the-user' approach. Government subsidy was provided directly to eligible elderly persons in the form of a voucher so that they could choose the service packages which best suit their needs. The Second Phase of the Scheme was launched in October last year and in view of the positive response received so far, the Government, with further funding from the Lotteries Fund, will issue the additional 2 000 vouchers from next month (August), making up a total maximum of 5 000 vouchers."

     The Second Phase of the Scheme has been extended to cover all 18 districts across the territory with the voucher value expanded to five different voucher values ranging from $3,700 to $8,830 to suit individual needs and choice.

     The spokesman added that under the "affordable users pay" principle, the less that an elderly person can afford, the more the Government will subsidise. The SWD will determine the co-payment level, one of the six categories ranging from 5 per cent to 40 per cent of the service package values, for the elderly persons based on the elderly and their household income.

     The 124 Recognised Service Providers (RSPs) currently joining the Second Phase of the Scheme are non-governmental organisations and non-profit-making organisations (including social enterprises) as well as qualified private organisations. A total of about 2 100 day care places and about 3 000 home care places are being provided. Voucher holders are free to choose centre-based and/or home-based services and, if needed, may purchase residential respite services using the voucher.

     Moreover, the SWD has set up a Centralised Team mainly manned by social workers in the Second Phase of the Scheme. In addition to enhanced monitoring of RSPs, the team also provides, in collaboration with Responsible Workers, dedicated support and assistance to voucher holders including providing information on RSPs, assisting elderly persons to decide whether they should apply for vouchers, selecting suitable RSPs and service packages, and transferring to another RSP where necessary.

     Eligible elderly persons or their carers/relatives who have queries about the application for the Second Phase of the Scheme or selection of RSPs or service packages may approach the Centralised Team of the Pilot Scheme on Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly of the SWD, or the responsible workers of the elderly persons for assistance, the spokesman added. The telephone hotline of the Centralised Team, 3107 3013, will operate from Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 1pm and 2.30pm to 5pm, except on public holidays.

     For details of the Scheme, the list of RSPs and the information on the application date of Subsidised LTC Services of the eligible elderly persons being issued with invitation letters, people may visit the SWD website (www.swd.gov.hk). They may also browse the SWD Elderly Information Website (elderlyinfo.swd.gov.hk) to get more details about the services by each RSP.
Ends/Monday, July 24, 2017
Issued at HKT 15:00
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