New occupational diseases covered health insurance

New occupational diseases covered health insurance

Occupational cancer was added to the list of covered diseases, which occurs in environments where employees are exposed to the burning of fuels and coals, in addition to mental illnesses which may arise after having been exposed to violent accidents.  (AFP Photo)

Occupational cancer was added to the list of covered diseases, which occurs in environments where employees are exposed to the burning of fuels and coals, in addition to mental illnesses which may arise after having been exposed to violent accidents.
(AFP Photo)

The government has agreed to allow 17 new occupational diseases to be covered under Egypt’s social health insurance law 79 passed in 1975.

This came in response to demands made by the ministers of Manpower and Immigration, and Health and Population, after the decision was ratified by the Board of Directors of the National Authority for Social Insurance.

Occupational cancer was added to the list of covered diseases, which occurs in environments where employees are exposed to the burning of fuels and coals, in addition to mental illnesses which may arise after having been exposed to violent accidents. Illnesses and injuries sustained from work in construction, freight and office environments which may cause stress, such as synchronized carpal tunnel, are also now covered.

Illnesses obtained from the inhalation of gases and working with aluminium have also been added to the list, including the casting, production and repair of aluminium and aircraft coating. Inflammation of the aveoli, which may arise from raising poultry and engaging in farm labour is also now covered, in addition to diseases arising from exposure to zinc, copper, tin, organic solvents, and pharmaceutical products, in addition to the inhalation of carbon dioxides and metal resources.

A representative within the Workers Insurance Fund, which operates in both the public and private sectors, stated that these amendments were expected to be implanted July 1, 2013, but that recent political events stalled the process, which did not end up taking effect until halfway through last week. Those suffering from such diseases will now be able to obtain treatment for their illnesses.

The source added that the Ministry of Manpower and Immigration has conducted periodic medical checkups workers exposed to occupational diseases. Those whose diseases are estimated to affect their work performance by more than 35% are brought before five committees made up of union representatives and insurance funds, who are tasked with seeking out and providing them with alternative employment that would not negatively affect their health. In some cases, workers are given the opportunity to retire and begin taking their pensions.

Treatment for injuries sustained by employees while working, in all of the government, public and private sectors, are to be covered under the plan without reservation. Employee managers are required to pay into the programme in order to obtain coverage for their employees.

The source added that a total of 29 occupational diseases are covered under the programme, on the condition that employees can provide evidence that they obtained their disease through work. The law further grants the Minister of Insurance and Social Affairs the right to add and remove diseases from the list of those that are covered.

Translated from Al Borsa newspaper

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