A five-year plan (2016-2020) to control occupational diseases — such as pneumoconiosis — was issued by the State Council on Jan 4.
Control from the source was highlighted. The plan urged enterprises that cause occupational diseases to upgrade technology and working conditions, set up management mechanism on occupational healthcare, organize targeted training and construct effective poison control facilities.
The plan also called for effective government supervision. For those companies who fail to meet poison control standard, authorities have the right to force them to stop harmful operations, or close the factories.
Hospitals and professional disease control institutions are also urged to provide quality services, including diagnosis, risk evaluation and treatment of occupational diseases.
Legal rights of occupational diseases patients will be better protected, said the plan. Those patients who are eligible will enjoy critical disease insurance and medical assistance. The government will also provide minimum living subsidy to some poor patients’ families.
The government encourages academic researches on occupational diseases, especially pneumoconiosis, radioactive disease and chemical intoxication, developing nonpoisonous manufacturing technologies and materials.
Occupational diseases are severe in China, according to the document. The number of new cases reported is nearly 30,000 every year. Patients come from many industries, including coal, chemical engineering and nonferrous metals.