China to Stop Mandatory Hepatitis B Tests

by VR Sreeraman on  October 12, 2009 at 11:24 AM General Health News   - G J E 4
China will stop mandatory hepatitis B tests for employees joining new companies and students enrolling in schools, state media said Sunday, after a court ruled the tests were illegal discrimination.
 China to Stop Mandatory Hepatitis B Tests
China to Stop Mandatory Hepatitis B Tests

Deng Haihua, deputy director of the health ministry's general office, said the government would soon issue instructions to stop the practice, which is currently a requirement, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

"A hepatitis B disease carrier does no harm to others' health and the new practice will not increase the disease transmission," Deng was quoted as telling a news conference on Saturday.

A design company was ordered in May last year to pay a job applicant around 20,000 yuan (2,950 dollars) after it withdrew an offer because he had hepatitis B, according to the Hong Kong-based China Labour Bulletin's website.

The Beijing district court judgment was the first time a hepatitis case was successfully litigated in China, according to the group, which monitors mainland workers' rights.

Previous cases were settled through court-ordered mediation or private agreements, it added.

The judgment was seen as a sign the 2008 Employment Promotion Law, which specifically outlawed discrimination against people with an infectious disease, had teeth, according to the China Labour Bulletin.

Source: AFP

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