207113 An overview of the Taiwanese occupational health surveillance system: Taiwan in the international context

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Su-Fen You , Department of Healthcare Administration, I-Shou University, Kaohsiung County, Taiwan
Yawen Cheng , Institute of Health Policy and Management, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Pei Hua Chung , Institute of Health Policy and Management, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan
Occupational health inspection plays an important part in the national worker protection system. The objectives of health examinations are to (1) positively prevent the occurrence of occupational diseases, (2) improve the working conditions, and (3) develop the national occupational surveillance system and prevention strategies for the government.

The occupational health surveillance system has developed for more than three decades in Taiwan, but not many entrepreneurs complied with the regulations. The Taiwanese system followed the Japanese, and the later was influenced by the systems of Western industrialized countries. This article explores the origins of this inspection system in Japan, Western countries and Taiwan respectively. It also presents the policies of the ILO as well as examines the current system in Taiwan.

The understanding of the occupational health surveillance system needs to be located in the process of power struggle between the workers, the employers, and the medical professionals, in that the intervention of the state plays a critical role. The Japanese case shows that small-scale enterprises are not allowed to circumvent the law on the excuse of being small. Necessary government involvement may facilitate the occupational health services in both public and private sections. This also conforms to the modern philosophy proposed by the international organizations. The Japanese lesson may apply to Taiwan, which economy is also mainly constituted by small- and medium-scale enterprises.

Learning Objectives:
1.Describe the evolution of occupational health surveillance and link to the Taiwanese context. 2.Identify the role of the state and international agents in shaping the domestic occupational health surveillance system.

Keywords: Occupational Surveillance, Taiwan Health

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I have been a researcher in a governmental research project related to the Taiwanese occupational health and safety policy poposals, and belonged to the group of occupational health surveillance.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.