Offering high-standard and economical service
Your editorial of December 9 headlined, 'Golden sunsets' rightly applauds the Housing Society's initiative to provide housing for the elderly who are financially independent, but getting rather frail.
The society's senior citizen residences scheme will add to the diversity of facilities available for the elderly in a constructive and original way, and help meet the growing problem of elderly care in our ageing population.
At the same time your comments on existing accommodation are misleading, for you suggest that apart from homes run by government or subvented organisations, the quality of care on offer at all others is 'far from satisfactory'.
As Hong Kong's largest independent provider of elderly homes we must dispute this energetically.
While it is true that the majority of homes do not meet reasonable standards - something the Government is trying to address through its licensing scheme - there are other providers, including ourselves, recently entering the market and considerably changing the situation.
Quality providers invariably support the Government's licensing scheme, and indeed, are encouraged in return by the Government to offer viable alternatives to the Government's own increasingly expensive sector. As in other sectors of healthcare there is pressure on the Government to contain spiralling costs in the elderly care sector. Increasing demand can, and is, therefore being met by private providers.
By introducing a combination of professional, trained carers and modern management, we are able to offer a service that is both high standard and economical. Our aim is no less than to set the benchmarks for elderly homes in Hong Kong, and we feel sure that, along with others, we are beginning to create a private sector service that will guarantee our senior citizens the dignity and support they deserve.
SIMON LI Chief Executive Quality HealthCare Elderly Services Ltd