• 九成未達規管要求 殘疾院舍 歎申牌難


    政府四年前以發牌制度規管殘疾人士院舍,惟實施以來,全港近九成津助及私營殘疾人士院舍未獲發牌,僅靠「豁免證明書」繼續經營;有私營院舍花費數百萬裝修,仍未符合法例要求,維修大廈消防設施又遭大廈法團阻撓,更有業主在院舍申牌後大幅加租,瓜分利潤,令業界陷入經營困難。

    社署最新數字顯示,全港共三百一十二間殘疾人士院舍,只有四十間獲發牌照,其餘二百七十二間只有社署發出有效期不超過十八個月的「豁免證明書」,換言之,市面近九成殘疾人士院舍,仍未達到法例規定的基本要求。
    靠「豁免證明」續營

    大量殘疾人士院舍未達《條例》要求,有正在申請院舍牌照的女負責人向本報訴苦,指前年十一月開始裝修院舍,花費了四百五十萬,並且繳付十五個月的空租,但至今仍未能取得牌照,「我們有七十個位,月租十八萬八千,十五個月來完全無收入,現在我兒子大學三年級開學,學費也要問人借。」

    她解釋,正準備申請院舍的大廈無消防花灑,大廈業主立案法團不喜歡有人經營殘疾人士院舍,諸多阻撓,牌照處似乎也受到壓力,不夠膽貿然批出牌照,「原本說去年七月發牌,一直拖到現在。」

    中小企國際聯盟安老及殘疾服務聯會主席李伯英稱,現時所有私營院舍均按法例要求進行申請,但要符合法例,需要處理消防、走火通道等諸多問題,動輒花費數十萬。他估計,部份位於舊樓或村屋的小型院舍,很可能未能按要求改建,最後要執笠。

    現時社署有為業界提供改善工程津貼,但要求院舍在工程完成後仍有兩年租約年期,業界認為此舉等於助長業主瘋狂加租。香港私營復康院舍協會主席兼沐恩之家集團總監李若瑟說,「業主得悉你投資了很多錢,又會乘機加租,一般加租三至四成,令很多現有殘疾人士院舍卻步。」

    他以旗下四間殘疾人士院舍為例,涉及三百五十個牀位,早前向社署申請六百萬元津助,仍要自付六百萬元做改善工程,「我其中一間院舍為了要符合採光要求,牀位不可以離窗戶超過九米,但我的院舍左邊是廚房、有窗,右邊是牀位、無窗,於是我們便要把廚房及牀位左右調轉,電、煤氣喉等全都要改,單是要符合採光要求,已花逾百萬元。」  李若瑟直言,裝修後的租約年期剩下三年,未知能否回本。「我與很多行家都面對很大的財政壓力。」
    集團式院舍愈做愈大

      雖然殘疾人士院舍業界對《條例》一面倒,立法會議員張超雄卻有另一看法,而且以他所知,執笠的主要是小型院舍,相反集團式院舍愈做愈大,所以牀位數字一直沒有減少。他續說,本港殘疾人士宿位嚴重不足,需求極大,政府又傾向通過向私營院舍買位的形式,解決牀位不足,令營運殘疾人士院舍商機處處,認為是「業界覺得政府不敢從嚴執法,才會一直拖延改建進度。」

    報導來源:
    頭條日報 2016-03-05 P36 | 港聞 | 城中故事 九成未達規管要求 殘疾院舍 歎申牌難

  • 問題在私營宿位質素


    立法會議員張超雄:繼去年推出的「長者社區照顧服務券試驗計劃」,今次施政報告又推出了「院舍住宿照顧服務券」。此券的概念,本質上不一定是壞事,因為可以讓服務使用者直接選擇自己想要的服務,提供彈性給長者。可是,香港的情況卻明顯是政府資助宿位不足,而推出的私營化、市場化的策略,是絕不可取的。現時私營院舍佔全港安老宿位約七成,有長期的空置率。關鍵的問題並不是宿位數量,而是私營宿位的整體質素嚴重偏低,長者根本不想選擇入住。

    撮要來源:
    成報 2014-01-16 A03 | 專題 | 各界回應 問題在私營宿位質素

  • 問題安老院未罰停牌議員批監管不足


    在2009 年發生一宗安老院員工餵長者吃糞便案件,今年9 月又發生安老院員工以掃帚打長者頭、拗手及掌摑,張建宗表示,涉及兩案的員工均被警方刑事檢控,前者被判監半年,後者則120 小時社會服務令,證當局監管「不手軟」。

    議員張超雄質疑社署只「指示」涉案院舍改善,力度不夠,質問過去5 年內曾否暫停任何安老院牌照;陳志全亦質疑局方所指的「突擊巡查」是否屬實,是否令院舍「做足準備」才接受巡視。

    張建宗回應說,涉案院舍均配合當局要求作出改善,故未有採更嚴厲措施;當局於5 年內雖未曾暫停任何安老院舍牌照,但曾縮短部分問題院個的牌照期,認為這屬於懲處的一種。他又指出,社署巡查時會針對紀錄、口碑不良的院舍,強調「突擊巡查」全部於事前保密,但不擔保有否「一兩次走漏風聲」。

    撮要來源:

    明報 2013-12-05 A16 | 港聞 問題安老院未罰停牌議員批監管不足

  • BATTLING A GOVERNMENT THAT doesn’t care enough


    More than 4,000 Hongkongers call private hostels for disabled people home. They’re a place of safety, bringing together people with special needs who may struggle in the community.

    “I have never thought of moving out,” says one 52-year-old for whom a care home provides a safe place to live while she copes with mental illness. “I share a room with my mother … It’s nice,” she says as she sits under fruit trees in the front yard of a two-storey country home.

    She and her 85-year-old mother have lived there since October, when they were referred by a social worker as their old home was to be demolished.

    The hostel is one of 78 private care homes in the city. Like the 200-plus homes subsidised by the government or run by non-governmental organisations, each hostel must obtain a licence to certify its safety and service standards, or a temporary exemption to give it time to bring facilities up to scratch.

    The hostels typically offer meals, routine personal care, activities and exercise equipment. They fill a gap in the market at a time when the waiting list for government-subsidised hostels stretches to 10 years or more.

    A licensing regime kicks in on June 10, yet, as of the start of this month, only eight private homes had licences. A further 46 were granted exemptions, typically of 12 to 18 months. The home the 52-year-old and her mother live in is among those granted an exemption, with the owner given time to clear up zoning issues and improve buildings.

    More licences and exemptions are expected to be granted as the Social Welfare Department rushes to scrutinise applications. But eight private hostels, home to more than 50 people, will close as their owners have applied for neither an exemption nor a licence. And more could go when their temporary extensions expire as owners struggle to find the funds for improvements.

    The licences – under which homes must provide at least 6.5 square metres of living space per resident and improve fire safety – started in November 2011, but operators had an 18-month grace period to apply.

    “At least one-third [of the private homes] might close down [when their temporary exemptions expire]. It is a very conservative estimate,” said Joe Li Wing-yiu, chairman of the Private Hostel for Rehabilitation Association. “Small hostels already find it hard to survive.”

    The operator of one home said he would have to close his private hostel in the New Territories after his exemption period ends, leaving about 30 residents to be relocated. With money running short, he would be unable to meet building and land-zoning requirements.

    “The top officials are too superficial and failed to have a thorough consideration” of the new rules, the operator said. “Allowing the disadvantaged to stay could be a win-win situation as their wait for [subsidised] hostels generally takes a long time.”

    Some social workers said it was a pity, as the closure of his care home would leave those in need of cheap accommodation with fewer choices.

    He charges each resident about HK$2,000 a month – about half the market rate for private hostels. Some 70 per cent of residents live on welfare.

    But his two rented bungalows were converted from agricultural facilities and are on land designated for agricultural use, where the operation of a social welfare facility is not allowed.

    “I was told by government officers that my premises will not comply with the building requirements as imposed,” the hostel owner said.

    “I looked for many New Territories sites for relocation to prevent closure. But many landlords declined to lease for care-home use and grant a long lease of two years” as required for applications for subsidies, he said. He said he would struggle to afford the renovations to meet safety, design and building standards.

    Stephen Sui Wai-keung, commissioner for rehabilitation at the Labour and Welfare Bureau, told lawmakers last week that as far as the bureau knew, hostel operators who had yet to apply for licences or exemptions had made plans to move residents to other private homes.

    The Social Welfare Department will use cash from the Lotteries Fund to subsidise improvement works at hostels to the tune of up to 60 per cent. The government said it introduced licensing in part because the quality of service at homes was “not always satisfactory” and “has been a subject of public concern”.

    Lawmaker Dr Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung fuelled public concern in 2006 when he and a concern group said some residents of private hostels were tied up for long periods, lived in unhygienic conditions, were given unhealthy food and suffered skin diseases due to a lack of care.

    Media reports showed residents tied to beds and chairs, while hostel staff said restraints were needed as residents posed a risk to themselves and others.

    Cheung said last week that the market for private hostels arose “because the government shuns responsibility for providing hostel care for the disabled”.

    “We don’t oppose private hostels, as they should have room to do business. But many hostels overseas are for those who want to have higher-quality service and a better environment. They are high-class. But Hong Kong’s private hostels are of the lowest class. Why do people have to choose them? It is because they have no other choice. The wait for subvented [subsidised] homes may take 10 years.”

    He urged the government to closely monitor people moving out of private hostels.

    “Those living there, I believe, are the most helpless and face the toughest situation … most likely, their relatives may not even be able to take good care of them.”

    The government plans to provide 522 subsidised hostel places this financial year and 31 the following year.

    Director of Social Welfare Patrick Nip Tak-kuen told lawmakers this month that the Social Welfare Department would identify vacant public flats for conversion into hostels. It would also book places in good-quality private accommodation for disabled people. In the long term, Nip said, the government would use suitable vacant premises at its facilities and schools for rehabilitation services.

    Despite those efforts, 7,800 are still waiting for a government-supported hostel place.

    Loss of facilities C2

    Source:
    South China Morning Post EDT4 | EDT | By Colleen Lee | 2013-04-23 BATTLING A GOVERNMENT THAT doesn’t care enough

  • 誠邀曾俊華看法國電影


    Sing Tao Daily A17 | 每日雜誌 | 工字出頭 | By 張超雄 | 2013-03-14

    月薪三十七萬的財爺曾俊華自稱「中產」。他說自己喜歡看法國電影和喝咖啡,就是一般中產生活。我也以為自己是中產,最近的確看了一齣法國電影《愛》,但看後心情久久未能平復,實在很想鼓勵曾俊華也去看,讓他這個掌握財政大權的財神爺,能感受一下需要護理照顧的長者及照顧者所受的壓力和困擾。

    《愛》的故事簡單而真實,敍述一對八十高齡的退休鋼琴老師夫婦,妻子突然中風,丈夫要負起照顧的責任,妻子不願意住老人院,但身體及精神每況愈下,丈夫仍忠心地盡力護理,並先後聘請了護士,但始終照顧得不算很周到,妻子曾表示不願活下去,在沒有出路下,最後丈夫親手把患了嚴重失智症並全癱的妻子殺死。

    《愛》獲獎無數,包括今屆奧斯卡最佳外語片。女主角已有八十五高齡,是有史以來最年長獲提名最佳女主角的演員,故事是導演以家中的真人真事寫成的,其震撼力,正是來自畫面和故事的真實感。

    生老病死,是人生必經階段,沒有人能完全控制;但為甚麼我們不能讓經歷這些生命變遷的人,可以得到適切的支援、盡量去減輕他們的痛苦,以至讓他們活得更有尊嚴?我們投資大量資源修橋補路、發展經濟,投資教育,卻不願意為體弱長者或殘疾人士提供適切的長期護理服務。若果法國或歐洲都出現這樣的情況,香港的問題一定更嚴重。

    「居家安老」 原則模糊

    電影《愛》帶出的困局,相信很多香港人都有類似的經歷。長者因為中風、跌倒、或其他疾病入院,未曾完全康復已被醫院趕出來。若家人沒法或沒能力自己或請工人為長者提供個人護理,唯一的出路,就是入住私營老人院。津助的院舍有兩萬八千多人在輪候,今年《財政預算案》說三年內會增加一千七百個宿位,即平均每年不足六百個,絕對是杯水車薪;但私營老人院則立即有宿位,私院平均入住率只有約七成。在無可奈何之下,長者會被送入這些環境惡劣的私院,在那裏渡過人生最後的日子。

    究竟香港有沒有長期護理政策?政府說有,但政策文件則一直付諸闕如。直至今年二月,因為立法會開了一個長期護理政策委員會,我們要求政府遞交政策文件,政府終於要以白紙黑字向公眾交代有關政策。可是,政策文件沒有對現況加以分析,亦沒有檢討現時服務的成效,更沒有預測未來在人口高齡化下的服務需要。文件只抽象地介紹了政策原則及羅列了現有服務。其中第一大原則,是盡量維持長者及殘疾人士在社區獨立生活。

    奇怪了!若果目標是「居家安老」,那麼服務重點就明顯地要加強社區支援服務了。目前提供的日間護理及家居照顧服務名額,總共只有九千三百個,佔九十八萬六十五歲以上人口的百分之零點九五(不足百分之一);全港私營連津貼院舍宿位卻有七萬五千多個,佔六十五歲以上人口的百分之七點七,院舍宿位比社區支援服務多了近八倍,體弱長者申請社區服務要排長龍,唯一出路是私院,這個現實又怎樣可能說是「居家安老」的政策呢?

    《財政預算案》今年的新項目,是「長者社區照顧服務券」,即所謂「錢跟人走」的嶄新資助模式。姑勿論這個模式是否有效,只看這個計畫只能服務一千二百名長者,就知道又是一個裝飾項目。當然,政府會說將來有機會恒常化和擴大。但這又會是多少年後的事?每年輪候院舍期間死亡的長者已是五千多人!究竟要幾多人死亡、幾多人在受盡年老體弱的折磨之後,我們的政府才會醒覺?

    我誠意邀請曾俊華去看《愛》這部發人深省的法國電影,並在看戲後與他喝杯咖啡,好好檢討一下公共資源分配的優次,徹底地改善香港的長期護理服務。

    張超雄

    立法會議員

    香港理工大學應用社會科學系講師

     

     

  • 允增殘疾牀位 政府大「拖數」 名額少一半 嚴重智障等近7年


    撮要來源:
    明報 A12 | 港聞 | 特稿 | 2013-02-25 允增殘疾牀位 政府大「拖數」 名額少一半 嚴重智障等近7年

    政府承諾每年增加資助殘疾院舍宿位,但宿位仍嚴重不足;原來過去10 年每年實增宿位,遠遠追不上財政預算案的承諾,最嚴重的精神病患者長期護理院及嚴重弱智人士宿舍,仍有約五成宿位未兌承諾,致平均輪候時間長達近7 年。育有兩名智障兒的父母,由中年等到老年,連扶抱兒子亦無力,其中一兒始獲派院舍(見另稿)。社福界炮轟政府一直知悉問題卻沒積極處理。明報記者袁柏恩

    弱智人士宿舍一直是重災區,以嚴重弱智人士宿舍為例,2000/01至10/11 年度增加了900 個宿位,但與政府承諾增加1802 個宿位仍差五成;10/11 年度預期新增315個宿位,最終只加了135 個,翌年預算案新增名額亦只有276 個。不過,輪候人數則有增無減,最新數字為2173,平均輪候81.6 月。另一需求嚴重的肢體傷殘人士宿位情况亦差不多,2000/01 年度至今的輪候人數卻由223 增至433,增幅達94%,平均輪候37.4 月。嚴重殘疾人士護理院、長期護理院等,差額亦達三至五成(見表)。

    在家乾等的阿花,育有中度自閉兒子浩賢,他們自2003 年登記輪候院舍,至今10 年。阿花說,若希望子女在自己離世時適應,必須及早放手,因自閉症患者有自己的一套生活模式,愈年長愈難適應,擔心自己離世時才讓浩賢入院舍,他會適應不來。

    社署指因諮詢地區工程需時

    社署發言人表示,當局會因應已預留作殘疾人士院舍處所的計劃落成日期,預算每年服務名額。至於預算宿位與實際增幅不同,社署解釋是因部分計劃會因地區諮詢、申請批出處所和進行翻新或裝修工程等所需時間延誤,而未能如期推出,將在接下來的年度投入服務。

    立法會長期護理政策聯合小組委員會主席張超雄批評政府說法不負責任, 「當局態度不緊張,其他部門不會讓院舍優先」。他又分析按年宿位,政府雖稱「追回」名額,但來年名額實際並無加倍。他又說,政府須同時加快提供日間服務,並在公屋預留單位作較小型的殘疾家舍。小組委員會明天開會討論宿位問題。

  • 勞福局首務訂立貧窮線 議員斥研究多年耗時久


    【新報訊】勞工及福利局局長張建宗重申,政府銳意於今年底前訂立貧窮線,是扶貧委員會的首要工作,顯示政府有承擔和勇氣,但扶貧問題不可一蹴而就。不過,多位立法會議員認為當局花太多時間去研究訂立貧窮線,又指向長者及殘疾人士提供的日間照顧名額及宿位太少。立法會福利事務委員會昨討論《施政報告》中與福利相關的政策。委員會主席陳婉嫻質疑貧窮線的訂立討論多年,為何當局要到今年底才訂立,並經常說要時間研究。民主黨的何俊仁表示,當局除制訂貧窮線外,最重要是有相關的配合措施。

    工黨立法會議員張超雄表示對施政報告感到非常失望,形容是「無規劃,無承擔」,例如政府只提出1,700個新長者宿位,但現時有18,000名長者輪候,當中每年有逾5,000人死亡。

    試行長者服務券計劃

    張建宗回應指扶貧問題不可一蹴而就,新政策一定要研究後才能推出,包括要在社會上得到共識,決定如何運作,不能做一言堂,但有信心一定可於今年內制訂。

    張建宗又指政府會用兩條腿走路,在訂出貧窮線前有其他扶助弱勢社群的措施。他承認,過往對長者的家居照顧服務不足,因此會加強居家及社區安老服務,9月會在8個地區展開長者社區照顧服務券試驗計劃,亦會增加日間服務名額及延長服務時間,由今年至2014及2015年度會提供超過 1,700個新資助宿位,亦會在11個發展項目預留地方興建新合約院舍。

    撮要來源:
    Hong Kong Daily News A05 | 港聞 | 2013-01-22 勞福局首務訂立貧窮線 議員斥研究多年耗時久

  • Waiting list for elderly may goon for 50 years


    WELFARE

    Clearing the waiting list for government-subsidised homes for the elderly could take up to 50 years if provision increases at the pace outlined in the chief executive’s policy address.

    While Leung Chun-ying pledged on Wednesday to add more than 1,700 subsidised places by 2014-15, there were 28,692 people on the waiting list last month.

    With an average of about 570 new places being rolled out each year that would mean, in theory, it would take 50 years to clear the queue. But an accurate figure is impossible; as places become available, more people are added to the list and many die waiting.

    The queue for subsidised care homes has grown 22 per cent from 23,553 in 2007.

    Labour and Welfare Secretary Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said yesterday he wanted to be able to promise a target waiting time, but added: “The difficulty lies not only with the government, but the circumstances. When applying for care homes, the elderly can choose a district. Some even indicate which home they prefer, while some name a preferred religious background.”

    The Post also found that 95 per cent of the 1,714 expected new subsidised places announced by Leung had been pledged by his predecessor, Donald Tsang Yam-kuen.

    Leung said on Wednesday the government would explore incorporating homes for the elderly into redevelopment projects and converting vacant buildings.

    Of 11 proposed sites for new homes, five are designated for redevelopment by the government or the Urban Renewal Authority.

    But honorary chairwoman of the Elderly Services Association Grace Li Fai said he was “playing with the figures”. His proposal would not solve the “pressing shortage” of subsidised places as the 11 sites would take a decade to be developed, even if approved.

    “Over 20,000 elderly people have been waiting for care homes, and some 6,000 of them died during their wait each year. How will the several hundred extra places meet their demand?” She said it would be quicker to push up supply by converting vacant government shopping malls or car park buildings into subsidised elderly homes.

    Chan Pui-yi, deputy chief executive of the Hong Kong Christian Service, said the ground floors of new public housing blocks should be set aside for care homes.

    URA chairman Barry Cheung Chun-yuen urged the government to exempt old people’s homes from the gross floor area calculations of private flat sites as an incentive to developers.

    Lawmaker Dr Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung criticised Leung’s administration for not requiring private developers to set aside a certain amount of space for homes for the elderly and said his efforts to increase supply lacked clear direction.

    Source:
    South China Morning Post   EDT1 | EDT | headline | By Colleen Lee and Emily Tsang | 2013-01-19  Waiting list for elderly may goon for 50 years

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