Hong Kong to improve services for disabled and mentally-impaired

16:33, October 14, 2009      

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The government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) will pool more resources to improve rehabilitation services for the disabled and the mentally-impaired residents, HK chief Donald Tsang said Wednesday.

"Aside from increasing government-funded residential care places, we will continue to assist non-governmental organizations in developing self-financing residential care homes, and introduce a pilot Bought Place Scheme for residential care homes with an aim to shorten the waiting time for persons with disabilities," Tsang said.

Moreover, additional places for day training and vocational rehabilitation services will be available to enhance the employability of persons with disabilities and the pre-school rehabilitation services will also cover more children with disabilities.

Since January 2009, the HK government has set up 16 district support centers to provide one-stop community support services for persons with disabilities who live at home, and for their families.

As for the mentally-ill residents, the government will also strengthen support for them at the community level, Tsang said.

The Hospital Authority (HA) will start a pilot program in the next financial year to provide continuous and customized intensive community support for those with severe conditions.

"If this pilot program is successful, we will gradually extend it to cover all districts within three years," Tsang said.

The HA will promote collaboration between psychiatric specialist out-patient service and the primary healthcare service. The psychiatric specialist out-patient clinics will enhance their assessment service for common mental disorders and focus on patients with complex needs, and refer in a timely manner those with less severe conditions to the primary healthcare service for follow-up. The HA will also support the primary healthcare service in providing integrated mental healthcare to these patients.

In addition, the government will revamp community mental health support services and set up mental wellness centers in all 18 districts, and will enhance their services for persons with severe mental illness to keep pace with the HA's pilot program, Tsang said.

Source: Xinhua
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