Elderly vouchers to be reviewed
January 16, 2013
Chief Executive CY Leung says the Government will review the Pilot Scheme on Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly and explore the feasibility of adopting this voucher subsidy mode for residential care services.
Delivering the 2013 Policy Address today, Mr Leung said the Government will offer elderly people more diversified choices through a wide range of new and flexible modes of subvention and service delivery.
He said it will conduct a review some time after the implementation of the Old Age Living Allowance and the Guangdong Scheme. "We will explore the feasibility of allowing elderly people who choose to retire to the Mainland to receive Old Age Living Allowance in Guangdong."
He added the Government will strengthen community care services. The Social Welfare Department’s Pilot Scheme on Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly to be launched in September adopts the 'money follows the user' approach.
"Eligible elderly may choose the services that suit their individual needs with the use of service vouchers. Moreover, we will increase day care places in the conventional funding mode and extend the service hours of new day care centres for the elderly," he said.
Mr Leung said the department will provide over 1,700 new subsidised residential care places from now to 2014-15. The Government has also earmarked sites in 11 development projects for new contract residential care homes.
Elderly people suffering from chronic diseases require longer-term infirmary care and rehabilitation services, he said, adding the Hospital Authority will provide 130 additional convalescent beds and explore other modes of co-operation with the private sector to strengthen the infirmary care services for public hospital patients.
Mr Leung also said the Government will provide a convenient living environment for the elderly, and encourage them to take part in community activities and lead a fulfilled life.
"We have allocated about $900 million under the Lotteries Fund to enhance the facilities and safety of all subvented elderly centres in phases over six years. We expect the first renovated elderly centre to open next month."