Group urges more subsidised care homes to cut waiting times

PUBLISHED : Monday, 14 December, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 14 December, 2009, 12:00am

The government should offer more subsidised residential care homes with the aim of cutting the waiting time by half within three to five years, a social welfare group says.

'Currently, Hong Kong has a serious lack of subsidised residential care homes for the elderly and people with disabilities, hence the waiting time for a place is too long,' the group, Fight for Subvented Home Alliance, said yesterday.

The group urged the Legislative Council's social welfare panel, which meets today to discuss the issue, to set up a dedicated subcommittee with the aim of pressing the government to build more homes.

It can take up to 10 years for a physically disabled person to find a place at a care home and as long as 12 years for mentally disabled people to get one. The alliance said there were currently about 6,000 people on the waiting list.

The latest policy address, however, promised to increase the number of places by only a few hundred, which was far from sufficient, it said.

The social welfare group also expressed concern that the quality of service would be affected after the introduction of a pilot scheme to buy places at residential care homes for people with disabilities.

Under the bought-place scheme, the government would purchase 300 places, the group said.