A seminar on the needs and solutions for patients with pneumoconiosis (black lung disease) was held on January 13 in Beijing by the “Love Save Pneumoconiosis” and the Center of Public Policy Research at the China University of Political Science and Law. The latest publications on the issue, “Report on Patients with Pneumoconiosis in China (2018)” and “Report on Pneumoconiosis around the World” were announced at the seminar.
Largely due to dereliction of duty by the government and employers, there are around six million patients with pneumoconiosis in China, with an annual increase of 30,000 people. Pneumoconiosis accounts for 90% of occupational disease cases, and more than 90% of the patients are rural workers. Usually the key breadwinners in the family, these workers being sick and unable to work puts them and their families under great pressure.
The “Love Save Pneumoconiosis” research team suggested learning from Hong Kong to make improvements on this problem. An idea is to set up a special fund with taxes paid by the employers and use the fund to invest in pneumoconiosis prevention and ensure compensations to the patients.
Although the scale of the problem is still huge, pneumoconiosis was included by the government as one of the target diseases of the rural population, and the law regarding occupational diseases was revised and improved to be more complete last year. After trying to make a difference for eight years, the founder of “Love Save Pneumoconiosis” Wang Keqin claimed 2018 was a milestone for this cause.