Date
19 September 2019
The Elderly Commission said it has not discussed any plans to allow foreign maids to work in elderly care homes. Photo: HKEJ
The Elderly Commission said it has not discussed any plans to allow foreign maids to work in elderly care homes. Photo: HKEJ

‘No plan’ to allow foreign maids to work in elderly care homes

The government has no plans at the moment to allow foreign maids to work in subsidized elderly care homes.

Dr. Lam Ching-choi, chairman of the Elderly Commission, issued the clarification after media reports, citing sources, said authorities are considering such as a plan to address the manpower shortage in nursing homes for the elderly.

The government is looking at a proposal that allows foreign domestic helpers who have completed the required training in a pilot scheme to work in elderly care homes, the reports said.

The pilot scheme, spanning 18 months, was launched by the Social Welfare Department last year to train foreign domestic helpers on how to take care of frail elderly persons.

The scheme, which was to be offered free of charge, had 300 training slots.

But Lam, who is also a member of the Executive Council, told a radio program on Thursday that the commission has not discussed any such plan.

He also said that the government has not conducted any study in relation to the program, adding that even if such a program is implemented, the technical difficulty involved is very huge, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported.

The pilot scheme is knowledge-focused, rather than practical work, Lam said.

He said those in care homes for the elderly are generally weaker than those who stay at home, and most foreign maids are not suitable to work in care homes in view of legal and employment requirements.

Grace Li Fai, chairperson of the Elderly Services Association of Hong Kong and a member of the Elderly Commission, opposed any move to allow foreign maids to work in subsidized elderly care homes.

The government should instead expand the Supplementary Labour Scheme to allow the entry of labor force from places other than the mainland, Li said.

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TL/JC/CG