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Streamlined arbitration in delayed wage cases to boost protection of migrant workers' rights

Xu Wei
Updated: Aug 07,2019 07:19 AM    China Daily

Several ministry-level departments, including those responsible for human resources and social security, health, and finance, have responded recently to issues of public concerns.

Wage arrears arbitration to be speeded up

The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security has pledged to streamline the arbitration procedures for disputes arising from delayed wage payments for migrant workers in a bid to better protect workers' interests.

The ministry said in a notice published on Aug 2 that concrete steps will be taken to solve investigation, evidence gathering, arbitration and mediation difficulties in cases of employers postponing wage payments to migrant workers.

The arbitration procedures for such disputes will be reduced to less than 30 days, the notice, jointly issued with the Supreme People's Court and four other departments, said.

It also called for heightened efforts to prevent such disputes from arising, with measures to encourage their settlement through negotiations between workers and employers.

Annual health checks for people over 65

China will establish health archives for all people age 65 or above and offer them free health checks every year as part of a national initiative to improve the health of the elderly, the National Health Commission said on July 31.

The initiative is aimed at preventing and controlling chronic diseases and promoting good health among senior citizens, the commission said.

The average life expectancy in China has increased to 77 years, but more than 180 million seniors have chronic diseases, Wang Haidong, head of the commission's aging and health department, said.

The initiative will also boost the role of the primary health service network and enable family doctors to promote comprehensive and coordinated basic medical services.

The commission said it will pilot services, including health evaluations, to seniors with disabilities, and encourage the elderly to better manage their chronic diseases so as to reduce symptoms and complications.

Chinese enterprises will be encouraged to develop new approaches and equipment incorporating information technology, it said.

Children's tumors and blood diseases targeted

China will scale up measures to ensure that children with blood diseases and malignant tumors can receive timely and sufficient treatment and assistance, according to an official notice issued on Aug 2.

The notice, jointly issued by the National Health Commission and four other departments, said policies on drug supply and medical security will be refined for children with such diseases, including simplified procedures for reimbursement to reduce burdens on families.

The initiative will prioritize treatment of 10 common diseases where medical treatment has proved effective but is too expensive for many patients' families to afford, the notice said.

A network of designated hospitals will be established to improve the diagnosis and treatment of the diseases, with patients to receive treatment at hospitals in provincial capitals or municipalities, it added.

It also requires steps to expedite the approval of eligible anti-cancer drugs and drugs used by child patients and to explore the production of blood products using surplus plasma.

Rules on government procurement remedied

The Ministry of Finance said on July 30 that the country will remedy rules and practices hindering fair competition in government procurement to ensure equal treatment of businesses run by various types of ownership.

The ministry said in a notice that all regions and departments should strictly review the fairness of government procurement and enhance its transparency.

The notice, which will take effect starting Sept 1, said the authorities must review unreasonable and discriminatory barriers that exclude potential suppliers from engaging in government procurement.

Problems such as offering biased treatment to suppliers based on their ownership or equity structures, discriminating against private businesses, and treating products and services from domestic and foreign businesses differently must be rectified, the ministry said.

The authorities must adequately solicit opinions from market entities and industry associations when making regulations on government procurement, it added.

The ministry also required efforts to strengthen administration, optimize procedures for procurement activities and improve the compensation mechanism for suppliers.

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