Delay in report threatens welfare of elderly
By HELEN LUK
ALMOST 20,000 elderly people could be kept waiting for places in old age homes because of delays in a government consultancy study, the Council of Social Service said yesterday.
The $2 million 'Consultancy Study on the Needs of Residential Care and Community Support Service', conducted by Deloitte and Touche, should have been completed by July, said council spokesman Lee Kar-mut.
Mr Lee urged the Government to release the study's recommendations immediately because they 'greatly affect the provision of services for the elderly in the future'.
Spokesman for the Health and Welfare Bureau Jean Ip Kit-ying said the bureau could continue with its work while awaiting the study.
'The consultancy firm has not yet submitted the final report to the bureau, although it is near completion,' Ms Ip said.
'From 1998 to 2002, 3,300 subvented residential care places to serve elderly people in need will be run by non-government organisations, in addition to the 2,400 places provided under the bought-place scheme,' said Ms Ip.
The council said that it was also dissatisfied with the new Elderly Commission, because it had virtually no representatives who had come from an elderly services background.