Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Abolish Hep B test, advocates plead

Share this history on :

Mandatory testing of jobseekers for hepatitis B is discrimination and stops many from finding a job or studying, an advocate group said.

Lu Jun, the director of Beijing Yirenping Center, a non-profit group advocating social justice, said the test should be abolished to fight against discrimination.

"Without this regulation, the privacy right of hepatitis B patients cannot be properly protected, and it will greatly affect them in pursuing a job," Lu said.

It is normal procedure at Chinese companies to screen new employees for the disease, which has long been regarded in China as infectious and passed through daily contact.

However, hepatitis B can only be transmitted through sexual contact, through blood or from mother to child.

Last month, Deng Haihua, spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said medical experts agreed that students and jobseekers did not need to undergo the hepatitis B test before joining a college or a workplace, as they did not compromise public health.

However, there has been no firm decision on whether the test will be abolished for an estimated 93 million hepatitis B sufferers in the country.

Abolish Hep B test, advocates plead

Between October and December last year, the Beijing Yirenping Center contacted 96 foreign firms across the country and found that "80 of them, or 84 percent, required job applicants to be tested for hepatitis B".

The survey found that 44 percent of companies polled would reject hepatitis B sufferers.

Gao Yu, 23, a graduate from Communication University of China, and who sufferers from hepatitis B, said he had been rejected twice on the basis of the disease.

The National Center for the Performing Arts (NCPA) rejected Gao's application to work there after he returned two positive tests.

"I have done nothing wrong, and being a hepatitis B patient or not is out of my control," Gao said.

"I didn't go to any bars or bad places to acquire this disease."

He filed a lawsuit against the NCPA this year, but the court determined the latter was not liable because it could not find any suitable law to protect Gao.

"To be frank, every time I pass by West Tian'anmen station (where NCPA is located), I cannot help frowning now," Gao told METRO yesterday.

He later found a job at Jiangsu radio station, but he was later fired for the same reason.

"I don't want to find jobs now. I want to have a rest," Gao said. "To have a third strike? I am not sure whether a similar thing will happen and I have no confidence to get a job now."

taken from : China Daily

No comments: