China opens 829 sites providing free pneumoconiosis treatment

Updated: Apr 26, 2024 Xinhua Print
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BEIJING -- China has opened 829 sites providing free treatment for people with pneumoconiosis, cases of which account for approximately 90 percent of all reported cases of occupational diseases in the country, an official of the National Health Commission (NHC) said on Thursday.

Wang Jiandong, who is the NHC official in charge of occupational health, said at a press conference that these sites, which are located in 28 provincial-level regions, provided free treatment to more than 1.2 million pneumoconiosis patients between 2021 and 2023.

He said that many pneumoconiosis patients face difficulties in identifying liability in order to claim compensation, as the majority of these patients in China are migrant workers, who often work for more than one employer in hazardous workplaces and cannot provide employment relationship certificates.

With this in mind, the commission revised its measures for occupational disease diagnosis and recognition in 2021, allowing patients to provide reduced documentation to prove the employment relationship, such as paychecks or meal cards, Wang said.

The commission will introduce more policies to assist pneumoconiosis patients in the future, he added.

Loud noise, dust and toxic chemicals are the top hazards in workplaces in China, Wang said, noting that the country has monitored over 1.8 million jobs with occupational hazards since 2019.

China has launched a campaign to control occupational hazards, focusing on industries with grave health risks, such as the mining, metallurgy and building materials sectors, he said.

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