Lawmakers in disbelief over claims of low cases of abuse in care homes

Local | 11 Feb 2019 6:00 pm

Opposition lawmakers have accused the government of burying its head in the sand over the extent of abuse of residents in care homes for disabled people and the elderly, RTHK reports. 

They reacted with disbelief when welfare undersecretary, Caspar Tsui, told them in Legco that there have only been 26 abuse cases in the past three years. 

Lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki said that must just be the tip of the iceberg and he wondered whether the government was trying to convince itself that this was true. 

Tsui said thousands of inspections are done every year to make sure everything is as it should be in homes. He also said that the government has a stringent mechanism in place to ensure the quality of service. 

But lawmaker Ray Chan was not entirely convinced about the government's claim regarding supervision. 

He said he wondered if the inspections were genuine, or if some care homes are being tipped off before visits. "We still see a lot of complaints about low service quality," he said.

The Labour Party's Fernando Cheung said that the government should consider neglect or abandonment of elderly or disabled people as a criminal offense.

Speaking after the panel meeting, Cheung told RTHK's Priscilla Ng that the number of cases on record remains so low because many incidents are not defined as unlawful.

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