Budget Speech

Elderly Services

174.    Last October's Policy Address proposed an array of measures to improve elderly services, involving a total recurrent provision of about $1,263 million and non-recurrent expenditure of about $2,229 million.  These measures include:

(a) increasing the number of vouchers under the Pilot Scheme on Community Care Service Voucher for the Elderly;
(b) setting up the Innovation and Technology Fund for Application in Elderly and Rehabilitation Care;
(c) providing professional outreach services and visiting medical practitioner services for residents in private residential care homes for the elderly and residential care homes for persons with disabilities (RCHDs); and
(d) increasing the salaries of front-line care staff of subsidised elderly service units.

175.    Furthermore, I will make an additional provision of about $63 million to provide speech therapy services for elderly service units which will benefit some 22 000 elderly persons with swallowing difficulties or speech impairment.

Rehabilitation Services

176.    Last year, the Government announced the provision of trust services for parents whose children have special needs.  I will allocate $50 million to set up a dedicated office for this purpose.  Moreover, I will make an additional annual provision of $660 million to improve the rehabilitation services through various measures, including:

(a) increasing 2 469 subvented rehabilitation service places and purchasing an additional 500 private RCHD places;
(b) providing speech therapy services in hostels for moderately mentally handicapped persons, hostels for severely mentally handicapped persons, hostels for severely physically handicapped persons with mental handicap and care and attention homes for severely disabled persons;
(c) providing additional places under the Extended Care Programme and Work Extension Programme;
(d) providing clinical psychological service to strengthen support for ex-mentally ill persons and step up community education for early prevention of mental illness, as well as enhancing support for visually impaired persons, children of hearing impaired persons and children of ex-mentally ill persons;
(e) strengthening the professional support provided by medical social workers in the Child Assessment Centres of the DH and the general and psychiatric hospitals of the HA;
(f) regularising the Pilot Project on Strengthening Support for Persons with Autism and their Parents/Carers; and
(g) increasing the number of parents resource centres to support children with disabilities or special needs and their parents or carers.



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