Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying said shortage of land in the city is the root of the problem involving the alleged abuse of residents at an elderly-care home in Taipo, Ming Pao Daily reported.
In a question-and-answer session at the Legislative Council on Thursday, Leung said he was heartbroken following complaints that seniors at the Tai Po Cambridge Nursing Home were not being treated with respect, adding that the Social Welfare Department is looking into the case.
Lawmaker Fernando Cheung urged the government to tighten rules under the Residential Care Homes (Elderly Persons) Ordinance and set up an official accreditation system for these institutions.
Leung said he pays visits to elderly homes whenever he can squeeze the time and admitted there is a wide gap in the quality of services among the providers.
But he said the issue concerning elderly homes is more about land supply than service quality.
Even with the adoption of an accreditation system, seniors will not be getting the right quality of service as a large portion of the elderly home operator’s budget goes to the payment of unreasonably high rent.
Legislator Peter Cheung said Leung was missing the point by blaming land supply for problems found recently in an elderly home.
Cheung said operators could levy a higher charge and offer better services in return, but many were simply offering substandard services.
Lam Yu-kiu, deputy chairman of the Association for the Rights of the Elderly, said Leung was oversimplifying the issue by citing the shortage of land as a justification for the Taipo case.
Lam blamed the problems at the nursing home on its poor attitude towards service and the inadequate training of its employees.
Social welfare authorities have launched an investigation into Tai Po Cambridge Nursing Home, a private elderly-care home, following complaints from neighbors that seniors were being left naked for prolonged periods on a building terrace before they were given baths.
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