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August 1, 2009

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Ministry acts after lung-disease case

CHINA is to survey the sector in charge of diagnosing occupational diseases to improve administration and rectify problems, the Ministry of Health said yesterday.

The survey aims to uncover problems in diagnosis and appraisal of occupational diseases relating to criteria, procedure, administration, personnel and funding, the ministry said.

The ministry also wants details on the number of institutions and personnel in charge of occupational disease diagnosis, people who file diagnosis applications, and a breakdown of people with diseases.

The ministry has asked the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention to conduct spot checks in provincial-level areas and institutions. Provincial-level health bureaus are required to reply to the questionnaire by August 31.

The survey order comes about a week after the plight of Zhang Haichao was highlighted. Zhang, a migrant worker, underwent a biopsy to prove he suffered from pneumoconiosis in order to claim compensation. The 28-year-old had been denied compensation for the debilitating lung disease from working at a brick factory in central China's Henan Province.

Results confirmed Zhang's disease as a work injury.


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