The Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, Alexis Tam, said on Thursday that “health, education and social welfare are the priorities” for the government.
During the first day of the Policy Address presentation by Tam, questions on tourism development, education and healthcare topped lawmakers’ concerns.
The secretary promised to enhance sports training programs in the city. He also hopes that Macau can have a specific training centre. Moreover, the secretary noted that the Macao Government Tourism Office has already established development plans related to sports tourism, with hopes of organizing further sports activities that attract more tourists to Macau.
In his reply to Wong Kit Cheng, who posed questions about the Children Assessment Center established in June, Tam said that 339 children have already completed an assessment from the center, 127 of whom were children who were already on the waiting list before the center’s establishment. “Our work is very efficient,” said Tam.
Questioned by Lei Cheng I, Tam revealed data related to the city’s medical professionals who specialise in treating mental illness. He argued that Macau has a reasonable number of experts working in this field.Tam also claimed that the city has prepared enough doctors and social workers to provide the necessary medical services.
According the Secretary for Social Affairs and Culture, for every 1,000 Macau residents there are 2.6 hospital beds. Tam pledged to increase the number of beds to 4.4 per 1,000 people.
Education was other topic discussed. Chan Hong pointed out that teachers providing education to students with learning difficulties or students with diseases often leave their positions. These teachers have poorer welfare conditions and reduced salaries compared to other teachers.
Tam said that in order to respond to this issue, Macao Polytechnic Institute will start offering courses specifically for special education teachers. It will enrol new students starting from the next academic year. Tam also said that salaries for public school teachers have been upgraded. The city has revised policies related to teachers, and it has already entered the next stage of legislative procedures.