Hong Kong Christian Service

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Issue 007
2015 May

Opinions on Residential Care Service Vouchers Pilot Scheme

Mr. Pang Fai Hang, representative from our Elderly Council, Miss Yvonne Chak Tung Ching, General Manager of our Elderly Core Business, Miss Bonnie Cheung Yin Lam, Centre-in-charge of our Bliss District Elderly Community Centre together with representatives from Hong Kong Council of Social Service and colleagues of the field voiced their opinions in the special meeting of Panel on Welfare Services of the Legco on 28 March about the Residential Care Service Vouchers Pilot Scheme (Residential Vouchers Scheme).

In view of the imminent ageing population, hostel services for the elderly is an important agenda in the long term social welfare planning. The planning should be based on need and facts to formulate strategic plan and measures. General concern from the field focused on the proposal conducted by the University of Hong Kong on whether the Residential Vouchers Scheme could achieve the goal of providing a choice for the elderly for a quality hostel, improve the quality of hostels and if Residential Vouchers Scheme is really trying out the funding mode of "money-follows-the-user".

It is generally accepted that in order to handle long term care and its related issues, monitoring the quality of private hostels, review of bought place scheme and improvement of community care are important. Since the quality provided by private hostels is varied, most of the elderly prefer queuing for government subsidised hostels rather than private ones. Furthermore, if the community can provide comprehensive care for the elderly, they would not resort to hostels. Therefore, the government should conduct comprehensive review and optimise the Pilot Scheme on Community Care Service Vouchers for the Elderly before considering Residential Vouchers Scheme, just like what is stated in the elderly policy of "ageing in place".

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