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Worker confirmed with lung disease

AN investigation team in Zhengzhou, capital of Henan Province, has confirmed that the man who had his chest opened at a hospital to confirm his illness in a desperate attempt to seek compensation suffers from pneumoconiosis.

Zhang Haichao chose to go under knife after the provincial occupational diseases center refused to confirm the illness, which dashed his hopes of getting compensation from his employer, who runs a plant making fire-proof bricks.

Henan's top occupational disease experts issued their diagnosis after researching Zhang's case history and discussing it with their peers from the Ministry of Health.

The Zhengzhou authority has ordered an investigation into the institutions and officials involved in the case where Zhang's former employer refused to pay compensation after the local occupational disease authority denied he had developed the illness.

The Zhengzhou government also urged medical checks and treatment for Zhang's colleagues at the Zhendong Abrasive Materials Co Ltd.

Zhang worked at the plant from August 2004 to October 2007.

His case attracted national attention. The Ministry of Health dispatched experts to Zhengzhou, which forced the local authority to launch the investigation.

Zhang, a 28-year-old native of Henan's Xinmi City, started feeling unwell in August 2007. He visited various hospitals and was diagnosed as having pneumoconiosis, but the Zhengzhou Occupation-related Diseases Control and Prevention Center took a different view.

Zhang then visited the 1st Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University and insisted on surgery to open his chest.

During the operation, doctors detected a large quantity of coal dust residue.


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