Institutional care for disabled people in EU not satisfactory 2008-01-29 21:54:07   Print

    BRUSSELS, Jan. 29 (Xinhua) -- Institutional care for disabled people in the European Union (EU) continues to fall short of acceptable standards in many cases, a report released Tuesday by the European Commission says.

    The report recommends a wider use of community-based quality services instead of institutional care.

    "Quality of life in these institutions varies greatly and dignity for their residents is not always guaranteed," said Vladimir Spidla, EU commissioner for employment, social affairs and equal opportunities.

    "I am confident this commission study, with a solid scientific basis, will help member states and stakeholders transform services for disabled people from institutions to quality social services in the community."

    Over 1 million disabled people live in institutional care in the 27-member EU.

    The European Commission financed a study on the development of community-based services for people with disabilities. The study was carried out by the University of Kent and the London School of Economics.

    It confirmed that institutional care is often of unacceptably poor quality. Sometimes the conditions in institutional care may represent serious breaches of internationally accepted human rights standards.

    Community-based services, when properly established and managed, can deliver better outcomes in terms of life quality and ensure that disabled people can live lives as full as able-bodied citizens.

    The study found that services in the community are not more expensive than institutional care, once the needs of residents and quality of care are taken into account in calculating the costs.

Editor: Du Guodong
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