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HKSAR chief executive says to improve people's livelihood through various measures

(Xinhua)    15:26, October 16, 2019

HONG KONG, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- Chief Executive of China's Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) Carrie Lam vowed on Wednesday to improve people's livelihood through measures in various areas including children's development, public health and burden relief.

On improving people's livelihood in the 2019 policy address, Lam said the initiatives introduced this year are in line with the principles of pro-child, pro-family, pro-work, respecting the choices of beneficiaries and embracing public health.

Lam highlighted measures to ensure the healthy development of children, embrace public health and relieve the burden of commuting.

The measures for children's development include increasing the places of On-site Pre-school Rehabilitation Services for children with special needs with a view to achieving "zero-waiting time," regularizing the provision of student grant from the 2020-2021 school year with an annual grant of 2,500 HK dollars (about 318 U.S. dollars) for each student, which is expected to benefit about 900,000 students in Hong Kong, and further supporting working families with lower incomes to achieve self-reliance and alleviate inter-generational poverty.

To promote public health, Lam said efforts will be expedited to set up District Health Centers in all of Hong Kong's 18 districts to provide primary healthcare services through medical-social collaboration and public-private partnership.

In last year's policy address, Lam proposed to set up district health centers in a bid to shift the emphasis of the present healthcare system and people's mindset from treatment-oriented to prevention-focused. The first district health center has commenced operation last month in Kwai Tsing District.

She said another six district health centers are expected to be established within the term of the current HKSAR government to provide health promotion, consultation and chronic disease care services.

The 2019 policy address also proposed to introduce three measures to alleviate the burden of transport expenses - increasing public transport fare subsidy, reducing the cost of using government tolled tunnels and extending Special Helping Measures to more outlying island ferry routes.

Lam said the 152 new initiatives to improve people's livelihood announced in her last two policy addresses have largely been completed or are progressing on schedule, and recurrent spending on welfare and healthcare has increased by 29 percent in the past two years, amounting to 164.9 billion Hong Kong dollars (about 21 billion U.S. dollars) in the 2019-2020 estimates.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Wen Ying, Bianji)

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