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SLW leads delegation in Guangdong visit to deepen implementation of cross-boundary elderly care (with photos)
     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Chris Sun, leading a delegation of the Labour and Welfare Bureau, today (August 30) started his visit to three Mainland cities in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area (GBA), together with a delegation of the Legislative Council Panel on Welfare Services.

     This morning, accompanied by the Vice Chairman of Clifford Group, Ms Wendy Man, Mr Sun met with retired Hong Kong people in Clifford Estates in Guangzhou to learn more about their retirement life and needs on the Mainland. The Social Welfare Department (SWD) implements various portable cash assistance schemes to enable Hong Kong elderly persons staying in Mainland cities of the GBA to receive Comprehensive Social Security Assistance, Old Age Allowance or Old Age Living Allowance. As of end-July 2023, about 24 000 Hong Kong elderly persons retiring in Guangdong benefitted from the relevant schemes. In addition, the SWD will relax the absence limit under the pre-application one-year continuous residence requirement of the Social Security Allowance (SSA) Scheme from 56 to 90 days starting from next month. Applicants are required to reside in Hong Kong for a minimum of 275 days within one year before making an application to be eligible for applying for the SSA Scheme, provided that they also meet other eligibility criteria. The initiative will provide more convenience for Hong Kong people frequently travelling between Hong Kong and Mainland cities of the GBA.

     The delegations toured the Clifford Care Center and visited Hong Kong residents in the afternoon to take a closer look at the medical, elderly, rehabilitation and care services provided by its multidisciplinary team and how they assist the elderly to remain living in the community. Mr Sun said that with ample land supply and manpower in Mainland cities of the GBA, the experience of medical and elderly care integration is of valuable reference to Hong Kong, thereby providing more choices for Hong Kong elderly people.

     Mr Sun and the delegations then paid a courtesy call on the Party Secretary of the Department of Civil Affairs of Guangdong Province, Mr Ding Hongdu. Both sides held a joint seminar to exchange updates on the latest situation of elderly care in the two places and explored the better use of technology to enhance service quality. Following his visit to Guangdong on elderly and rehabilitation services with a Hong Kong social welfare sector delegation in late April this year, as well as signing a memorandum with the Department of Civil Affairs of Guangdong Province to foster collaboration on elderly care between the two places in late May, Mr Sun said that this visit further deepened mutual understanding on the development and experience of elderly services, ushering in a new phase of co-operation. The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government looks forward to seizing opportunities arising from the development of the GBA with the social welfare sector of Hong Kong under the principle of complementarity and deepening the implementation of cross-boundary elderly care, with a view to improving the quality of life of elderly people in both places.

     The delegations will continue their visit in Guangzhou tomorrow morning (August 31) and depart for Zhaoqing in the afternoon.
Ends/Wednesday, August 30, 2023
Issued at HKT 18:12
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