CE follows up on Policy Address initiatives (with photos/video)
Accompanied by the Director of Home Affairs, Miss Janice Tse, and persons-in-charge of the Hong Kong Community Network (HKCN), Mrs Lam visited the LINK Support Service Centre for Ethnic Minorities (LINK Centre) in Kwai Tsing District to learn about its facilities and services. Commissioned by the Home Affairs Department, the HKCN has been operating the LINK Centre since the end of 2014 to provide interest classes, counselling service, employment service and integration programmes to help ethnic minorities integrate into the community, benefitting more than 14 000 service recipients in 2016-17. Mrs Lam made glutinous rice balls with ethnic minority women in an interest class and played games with children learning Chinese. She also chatted with members of the LINK Centre to understand their lives and work.
"Ethnic minorities are members of the Hong Kong family. The Government has been providing support for them to ensure equal opportunities for them and facilitate their integration into the community. In my recent Policy Address, I proposed a host of initiatives covering employment, education, social welfare and youth exchange to further strengthen support for the ethnic minorities. A total of $500 million has been earmarked in this year's Budget for the above-mentioned measures. The Government established the Steering Committee on Ethnic Minorities Affairs, under the chairmanship of the Chief Secretary for Administration, in July this year to enhance internal collaboration in the Government. We will work together with various sectors to build an inclusive society," Mrs Lam said. The Policy Address this year further enhanced support services for ethnic minorities. New measures include enhancing interpretation and translation services in the Centre for Harmony and Enhancement of Ethnic Minority Residents (CHEER), enhancing the professional competency of teachers to help non-Chinese speaking students learn Chinese more effectively, launching a pilot programme to provide employment services in conjunction with non-governmental organisations for ethnic minority job seekers through a case management approach, expanding the Chinese language and industry-specific training courses by the Employees Retraining Board, encouraging ethnic minorities to join the disciplined services, setting up dedicated outreach teams to actively approach and assist ethnic minority families in need of welfare services and organising more activities to encourage interaction and exchange between ethnic minorities and local communities.
Accompanied by the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan and representatives of the Architectural Services Department, Mrs Lam then inspected the site selected for the Kwai Tsing DHC. The Food and Health Bureau will set up the first DHC in Kwai Tsing District to, through district-based medical-social collaboration and public-private partnership, provide services in health promotion, health assessment, chronic disease management, community rehabilitation, etc. Situated in a commercial building connected to the Kwai Hing MTR station, the DHC has an area of about 15 000 square feet. It aims to start operation around the third quarter of next year.
"Enhancing district-based primary healthcare services will effectively change the current focus of our healthcare services on treatment and alleviate the pressure on public hospitals. The Government will therefore allocate resources and proactively take forward the setting up of DHCs in other districts, with the Kwai Tsing DHC as the blueprint, to enable early service delivery," Mrs Lam said.
Ends/Saturday, October 13, 2018
Issued at HKT 19:40
Issued at HKT 19:40