From Compensation to Rehabilitation
A Social Review of the Employees’ Compensation Insurance System in Hong Kong
Research Findings Release
In Hong Kong, about 200 fatal and 55,000 to 60,000 non-fatal cases resulting from work-related accidents and diseases have been recorded each year. Occupational rehabilitation with an emphasis on early and comprehensive intervention immediately after injuries has demonstrated to be the international best practice in disability management post occupational injuries. The practice, however, has not been widely adopted in Hong Kong. To have an understanding of the underlying reasons, the Centre for Suicide Research and Prevention (CSRP), Department of Social Work and Social Administration of the University of Hong Kong (HKU), has conducted a consultancy project jointly with the Employees’ Compensation Insurance Residual Scheme Bureau (ECIRSB) to review the Employees’ Compensation system for local workers.
The CSRP held a press conference on 14 Dec 2015 to release its latest research findings and recommendations from the project on restoring the well-being of injured workers. Press release is available in both English and Chinese. The Powerpoint presentation is available in Chinese.
At the press conference, Professor Paul Yip presented the latest statistics on work-related deaths and injuries in Hong Kong, and on compensation insurance claims, such as the demographic characteristics of the workers who filed insurance claims, the types of common injuries, and number of working days lost from injury. He also spoke about the major problems in the current system, namely a compensation-focused culture and the physical and psychological barriers that hinder the success of return-to-work for injured workers, such as stress from family and employers, and the loss of self-esteem. Recognizing the challenges encountered by injured workers on the road of recovery, professor Yip stressed the importance of primary, secondary and tertiary prevention strategies and called for a collaborative effort of building a worker-centered system.
Doctor Sheung Wai Law, an honorary clinical associate professor from the Department of Orthopedics and Traumatology of the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), shared a success story of implementing a multidisciplinary rehabilitation model with the focus on early intervention – the Multidisciplinary Orthopedics Rehabilitation Empowerment (MORE) Programme. This programme has demonstrated great success in facilitating early and safe return-to-work for injured workers. With the positive impacts brought by the MORE programme, the project hopes to initiate efforts of expanding the programme, so more injured workers can gain access.
Last but not least, the CSRP would like to express gratitude to all the stakeholders who contributed to the project and those who provided utmost support for the project’s effort in propelling meaningful changes for workers health and social well-being of Hong Kong.