Care home staff need more govt help: Fernando Cheung - RTHK
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Care home staff need more govt help: Fernando Cheung

2020-12-01 HKT 10:23
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  • Former Labour Party lawmaker, Fernando Cheung, says care home staff would be at risk of infection if they queued up at community testing centres. File photo: RTHK
    Former Labour Party lawmaker, Fernando Cheung, says care home staff would be at risk of infection if they queued up at community testing centres. File photo: RTHK
Former Labour Party lawmaker, Fernando Cheung, said on Tuesday that if the government wants to force care home staff to take regular Covid-19 tests, it should provide more support.

He criticised officials for suggesting they didn't trust nurses in the homes to administer the tests.

The government is expected to announce mandatory testing for the staff, possibly subsidising them HK$200 a month to cover their transport costs to testing centres.

But Cheung suggested the staff would be at risk of infection if they queued up with the public at community testing centres.

"We should make it convenient for care home workers to go through the testing instead of asking them to simply go to the community centres and queue up with the rest of the public," Cheung said.

"We should give them subsidies to allow them to go to private testing centres or we should send health personnel to these care homes directly to make the testing more feasible and convenient," he said.

He added that at least half of the homes employed a nurse who was also qualified to conduct tests.

While private testing cost more, Cheung said the government could negotiate a standard rate.

He said the government shouldn't be leaving it up to the care workers, when many weren't well paid.