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Injured workers face slow claims process

Update: June, 05/2013 - 10:27

HA NOI (VNS)— The insurance claim process for accidents suffered by employees at work should be made simpler and more effective, experts declared at a workshop held in Ha Noi yesterday.

The Viet Nam Social Insurance Agency released statistics showing that about 5,500 workers get support from insurance companies every year following work accidents and occupational illnesses.

This number accounts for just 0.1 per cent of people who pay for social insurance, which includes labour accident insurance.

The workshop was co-hosted by the Viet Nam Social Insurance, the South Korea Workers' Compensation and Welfare Service, and the Korea International Co-operation Agency.

Nguyen Hung Cuong, deputy head of the Social Insurance Policy Department at Viet Nam Social Insurance, said there is a lack of specific regulations on labour accidents and occupational diseases, meaning many cases have not been clearly covered by existing insurance policies.

For example, if an employee is injured while participating in sports or cultural competitions as a representative of the company, or has to complete unplanned tasks during work hours, the responsibility of the insurance company to pay out is unclear, he said.

There is no detailed guidance on investigative procedures into labour accidents in the fields of radiation, petroleum exploration, transportation and military enterprises, he added.

According to the experts, if labour accident insurance policies are made clearer, victims of mishaps at work and occupational ill-health will have a better chance of receiving appropriate treatment to aid their recovery. They will also find it easier to apply for support if they are unable to return to work.

Last year, over 6,700 work accidents were reported nationwide, killing 606 people and costing organisations VND82.6 billion (US$3.9 million) for medical treatment, funerals and compensation. — VNS

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