GEORGE TOWN, Sept 22 — The Penang state government will be looking at existing jurisdictions and best practices from other countries to come up with guidelines to regulate aged care facilities here, said exco Jagdeep Singh Deo.
The local government, housing and town and country planning committee chairman said there are currently no guidelines to govern and monitor the setting up of wellness and aged care facilities in the country.
“This morning, at the state planning committee meeting, when this issue came up, PLAN Malaysia said there are no such guidelines and that Malaysia is awaiting for Penang to lead by coming up with such guidelines first,” he said after witnessing the signing of a joint venture agreement between Botanical Hills Sdn Bhd and Eden-On-The-Park Sdn Bhd to develop Eden on Botanica.CT, which is touted to be the first integrated senior living resort in the state.
He said the state will be discussing with stakeholders on coming up with the guidelines.
“When we look at the guidelines, there are many things we have to make sure are in place,” he said.
Jagdeep said the committee had agreed to the project on principle but it was subject to the firming up of the guidelines to govern and monitor such facilities.
“If we want to do something, we have to do it right,” he said.
The Penang lawmaker also said elderly care seemed to be a money-making industry but this should not be the case here.
“Not everyone can afford such a facility but everyone needs it so I hope this project will be affordable,” he said.
Penang Chief Minister Chow Kon Yeow, in his speech, said the state takes care for its ageing society seriously.
“Elderly care facility is an important component of an ageing society so we need to be prepared,” he said.
He said the demand for aged care facility will increase and the Eden at Botanica.CT project is timely to meet these demands.
Chow said the project involved a RM180 million worth of direct domestic investment and that it will contribute to job employment for youth while setting a new trend to meet the needs of the aged.
Earlier, Eden-on-the-park Sdn Bhd Managing Director Victor Fong said there are over 3,000 private nursing homes in the country while the government only has 17 care centres.
He said Eden at Botanica.CT is an integrated retirement lifestyle concept project that will provide accommodation for the elderly with a care facility offering professional nursing care.