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Saying thank you to Hong Kong's dental care workers on the 65th anniversary of the Hong Kong Dental Association

Hong Kong's achievements in dental care are widely acclaimed. Tonight, I attended the 65th anniversary dinner of the Hong Kong Dental Association. This is the fourth time that I have attended the Association's annual dinner in the capacity of Chief Executive.

In Hong Kong, there are more and more people over 65 years old, which is also the age of the Association. On behalf of the Community Care Fund, the Association launched the Elderly Dental Assistance Expanded Programme in early September this year, and the response has been very good. Over 4 100 applications were received in the first three weeks, and about 3 900 elderly people have made their first dental appointments. Around 300 dentists have registered as "community care" dentists, and more than 170 elderly and community centres all over the territory are handling applications. The response to the scheme is indeed encouraging. The first phase of the Expanded Programme covers the 130 000 or so recipients of the Old Age Living Allowance (OALA) aged 80 or above, providing them with free removable dentures and other related dental services. I hope that it will be extended at an early date to cover all OALA recipients so that more elderly people will benefit from it.

October 27, 2015