5:32:00 PM | 21/5/2013
With the care, direction and leadership of the Board of Directors of Kien Giang Health Department on infrastructure, budget and equipment, with the technical expertise support of the Environmental Health Administration and the Ho Chi Minh City Institute of Public Health Hygiene, plus good coordination with some local businesses in occupational health protection for their workers, in 2012, the Kien Giang Occupational Health and Environmental Centre managed to complete all its assigned tasks.
The centre has three departments, namely the Occupational Diseases Department, Workplace Hygiene Department, and Occupational Diagnostic Imaging Tests Department. Staffed by 25 employees, the centre checked and managed health records for 16,217 people in 2012, including 10,508 males and 5,709 females, exceeding the annual plan by 8 percent. In addition, the centre performed environmental measurements for 350 workplaces with 15,961 samples, above the target for the year. These results were very encouraging.
Director Lam Hung Bi said the centre had to get through enormous hardships to complete its tasks in 2012. The difficulties came from irregular interdisciplinary collaboration and limited budget for workplace sanitation and occupational disease prevention which led to failures in meeting practical needs. Regular medical checks and occupational disease examinations for workers only meet 10 - 15 percent of actual demand while companies exposed to occupational disease infections are on the rise. Besides, private hospitals and clinics currently provide only examination services for workers.
However, despite existing difficulties, the centre also plans to examine and manage health records for 12,000 workers, examine and manage occupational disease records for 500 people, perform workplace hygiene and environmental measurements for 320 units, and train labour hygiene, safety and first aid for 1,500 people.
To complete the above tasks, the centre hopes to receive supports from all relevant agencies. The centre has proposed the Vietnam Preventive Medicine and Environment Department provide funds for occupational disease prevention and budgets for purchasing equipment like personal dust monitors, radiation measurement apparatuses, high-frequency magnetic measurers, X-ray machines, silicosis measurers, mobile X-ray vehicles for health examinations in far-lying localities in the province.
To have more efficient operations, the centre hopes Party Committees at companies, Department of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs, and the Confederation of Labour in Kien Giang province to instruct local enterprises to protect and promote the health of workers, prevent occupational diseases and workplace accidents, and establish inspection bodies in charge of checking labour hygiene, safety occupational diseases. The centre must have representatives in these bodies.
The centre also proposes the Health Department of Kien Giang province direct private clinics and hospitals not to perform regular health check-ups for workers exposed to high risks of occupational diseases because workplace environmental monitoring must be carried out by the centre with specialised functions assigned by the Ministry of Health. The centre will urge employers to improve working environment conditions, prevent labour accidents, raise awareness in occupational health and hygiene, and ensure compliance with related laws.