By Poyi (Natalie) Leung
A new integrated service centre for people with intellectual disabilities including a 50-place day care facility is expected to become operational this year in Fai Chi Kei.
According to the Rehabilitation Affairs Committee, the service centre, to be located in the newly built Fai Chi Kei social housing complex, will provide resources and supporting services for families of the intellectually disabled.
In addition, a temporary care facility specially for the intellectually disabled aged above 16 will be launched in the same premises at the same time, which is to complement the existing day care centre for those under 18 years old.
After a closed-door meeting yesterday, the committee said 50 places will be available and parents or guardians can choose from a variety of schedules such as full day care, half day care, on weekends, public holidays or by hours.
Places in the day activity service, which provides training in daily living skills and simple work skills, will also double to 80 when the premises is open.
Furthermore, the committee said a new sponsorship program is to be launched this year in order to encourage local non-governmental social associations to organise more activities for ex-mentally ill persons in the territory.
In the meeting yesterday, the committee was presented the draft law concerning the disabled allowances and free health care services by representatives of the Health Bureau (SSM).
Deputy director of the committee and acting president of the Social Welfare Bureau, Iong Kong Io, told reporters people will be able to receive free public medical services upon presenting their disability assessment registration cards.
Since local residents with severe and profound degree of disability are already benefiting from free health care services from SSM, Iong said it is estimated that the new law will not trigger a significant increase in demand for the public health system.
He also disclosed that SSM may open an individual department for disabled people in the future, “if its resources are able to afford”.
According to the IAS chief, the Government expects to master more accurate information and data of Macau’s disabled population two years after the disability assessment registration system is implemented on March 11.
The details will provide important indicators for the Government in planning facilities and services in public housing and the new reclaimed land projects for the disabled in the future, he added.