Donald Tsang

Children give Tsang bad grade

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 03 January, 2012, 12:00am


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The government's performance last year hit nearly rock bottom in the opinion of underprivileged children.

The Children's Rights Concern Group and Society for Community Organisation released the seventh annual report of underprivileged children's top 10 concerns.

The government's overall performance fell from a score of 11 out of 100 in 2010, to merely two points for last year.

Health policies fared worst, dropping to minus two out of 10 - the lowest since 2009. Public housing issues were graded minus one. A representative from the concern group said underprivileged children found it difficult to make an appointment at outpatient clinics.

According to the group's recent survey, 70 per cent of the children had to wait more than an hour to see a doctor at clinics or emergency units at public hospitals. In the most extreme case, a child patient waited for six hours. The concern group hopes the government can provide medical vouchers and check-up schemes for the poor.

Underprivileged children were not satisfied with Chief Executive Donald Tsang Yam-kuen's proposed public housing policies during the latest policy address.

According to the group, about 20,000 children are living in cage homes and subdivided units, which cost as much as HK$40 per square foot. Many complain they cannot concentrate on their studies in a noisy, cramped environment.

The group recommended officials create 100,000 work opportunities for the lower classes; provide HK$6,000 rent subsidy to cage and subdivided home owners; and increase the welfare allowance.

The government should also ratify the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the group added.