China mulls amendment to law on work-related illnesses

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, June 27, 2011
Adjust font size:

China's top legislature on Monday began to discuss an amendment to a law regarding work-related illnesses, aiming to improve the protection of workers' legitimate rights and interests.

The draft amendment would not allow health care organizations to refuse workers' claims concerning work-related illnesses, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) said during a bimonthly lawmaking session.

The draft said that self-written descriptions from sickened workers could serve as a reference for health care providers to draw a diagnosis.

Under the amendment, patients would be considered to be afflicted with a work-related illness if there is no evidence to deny a connection between their symptoms and the inductive factors for work-related illnesses.

The draft amendment would also simplify arbitration procedures for labor disputes, an improvement that is designed to better protect workers' rights and interests.

This is the first time for lawmakers to consider an amendment to the law, which was passed in 2002.

More than 27,000 cases of work-related illness were reported as of the end of last year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health.

"That number might even be an underestimation," said Li Tao, head of the Occupational Health and Poison Control Institute under China's Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

As health monitoring only cover a small portion of professional groups, that means quite a number of people with potential work-related disease has not been found timely, Li said.

Under the current law, patients receive compensation from their employers and insurers after being diagnosed by designated work-related illness control centers.

However, the diagnoses and the legal procedures involved are often quite complicated, with patients typically waiting for long periods of time before receiving their compensation.

To resolve these difficulties, the draft amendment encourages medical institutions to obtain qualifications that will allow them to properly diagnose work-related illnesses.

The draft amendment would also require employers to provide related information when determining whether their workers are suffering from work-related illnesses.

According to the draft, if employers do not provide the information, or if patients question the authenticity of the information, patients could apply for a labor dispute arbitration, and the arbitration authorities would be responsible for handling the case within 30 days of receiving the application.

Print E-mail Bookmark and Share

Go to Forum >>0 Comment(s)

No comments.

Add your comments...

  • User Name Required
  • Your Comment
  • Racist, abusive and off-topic comments may be removed by the moderator.
Send your storiesGet more from