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February 4, 2015

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Free health checkup for public transport drivers

SHANGHAI’S 80,000 male public transportation drivers are being offered free health checkup after a recent survey found that at least one out of 50 drivers were troubled by gallbladder, kidney and urinary-related issues.

The survey was carried out by the Shanghai Construction and Transportation Workers’ Union, which includes employees of taxi, bus, Metro and ferry. Calculus in urinary system is usually referred to as a “profession-related disease” as it mostly affects drivers because of their work and living habits.

In a project jointly launched by the workers’ union, the Shanghai Transport Commission and No. 411 Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army, the drivers will be given free health checkups, especially to check prostate diseases.

“The best way to avoid going to toilet is to drink less water before a shift,” said a bus driver surnamed Sun.

He said he usually takes about one hour to complete the 14-kilometer No. 21 route from Jing’an to Hongkou districts. During peak hours, it can take longer.

“It is almost impossible to stop in the middle of the journey. We just have to control the urge,” Sun said.

Dr Lang Genqiang from the No. 411 Hospital’s urology department said sitting for a long time and drinking less water were the common causes of calculus in the urinary system. “It can be painful when the disease sets in and can affect a driver’s judgment and driving ability,” said Lang.

The number of urinary calculus cases among the middle aged and even young drivers had also risen, he said.


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