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Few injured workers aware of rehab policy

2012-11-12 14:45 Shanghai Daily     Web Editor: Zang Kejia comment

Many individuals who have sustained a work-related injury in the city do not return to work because they are unaware of the government's rehab policy, a rehabilitation center said yesterday.

Although the policy took effect more than one year ago, most workers still give up their rights for rehabilitation and accept a one-time compensation payment from their company, said Liu Jun, director of the Sunshine Rehabilitation Center, a government-designated facility.

The center, along with four designated hospitals, are the only places in the city taking part in the rehab policy.

Liu said every year more than 30,000 people in the city sustain a work-related injury, which includes injuries incurred to and from work.

About 3,000 have the ability to return to work if they undergo training and physical therapy. However, only 300 out of the 3,000 apply for rehabilitation.

Injuries include serious burns, severe fractures and amputations.

"Injured workers, especially migrant workers, ignore rehabilitation treatment while tending to take the one-off compensation because they are in urgent need of money for medical treatment," Liu said. "Companies also tend to give their employees a 'buyout' solution because they are afraid of being burdened with follow-up medical fees."

Liu said both companies and workers are unfamiliar with the new rehabilitation policy. All rehab fees are covered by insurance paid by the companies, meaning an injured worker does not need to pay for treatment.

During rehabilitation, workers will also receive accommodation, meal and transportation allowances.

"The only fee the company pays during the rehabilitation is the worker's salary," Liu said.

Liu said the policy needs to be promoted better so workers understand their rights and rebuild their working ability.

At the Sunshine Rehabilitation Center, 64 percent of patients returned to work immediately after finishing treatment at the center.

Some of the others may return to work at a later date, but figures are hard to calculate because some go back to their homes in other parts of the country.

"There is still room to improve, and the city will eventually catch up with Western countries," Liu said.

About 75 percent of injured workers capable of working again go back to work in Western countries, he added.

Traffic accidents are the major cause of work-related injuries in Shanghai.

Across China, construction and mining accidents cause the highest number of work-related injuries, according to the Shanghai Disabled Persons' Federation.

The four designated hospitals for rehabilitation in the city are Xuhui District Central Hospital, Shanghai No. 8 People's Hospital, Yangpu District Geriatric Hospital and Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine.

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