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City to Build Biggest Work Injury Centre

Work is due to begin on the nation's biggest workplace injury rehabilitation centre, according to the provincial labor and social security department.

The 310-million-yuan (US$38.8 million) centre will be located in Guangzhou's Liwan District, said centre director Tang Dan.

"The centre will provide free treatment to all employees covered by work-injury insurance," Tang told China Daily yesterday.

At present, Guangzhou has only one work-injury rehabilitation hospital, set up in 2001.

The first of its kind in the nation, the hospital has 120 beds, providing free treatment for more than 1,600 injured workers every year, said Tang.

There are 12 more rehabilitation hospitals in other cities in the province, with less than 700 beds.

"However, the number of employees suffering from work injuries has risen in recent years, particularly among migrant workers," said Tang.

Sources with the labor and social security authority said 18.1 million workers are covered by work injury insurance, of whom about 10.4 million are migrant workers.

According to Tang, each year about 120,000 workers are injured in work place accidents.

"The rehabilitation hospital is not able to deal with the rising number of injuries due to its limited beds and insufficient facilities," said Tang, adding that the new rehabilitation centre will have 600 beds.

The date for the center’s completion has not yet been set, according to Zhang Xiang, an official with the Guangdong Provincial Department of Labor and Social Security.

"We will soon start examining the construction site and looking into any necessary land requisition," Zhang said.

The rehabilitation centre will be one of Guangdong's key projects for the 11th Five-Year Plan (2005-10).

"We will step up efforts to provide free medical treatment and job-training for injured workers," said Zhang.

According to Zhang, more than 3,440 Guangdong workers have overcome workplace injuries thanks to free rehabilitation treatment. Of those 77 percent have found new jobs.

(China Daily November 9, 2006)

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