Hong Kong initiative helps injured workers through recovery

The project seeks to boost productivity by helping the recovery and return of injured staff

Hong Kong initiative helps injured workers through recovery

Hong Kong's Labour Department is piloting a new rehabilitation programme to help speed up the recovery of injured construction workers and get them back to work.

The new Pilot Rehabilitation Programme for Employees Injured at Work will be mostly funded by the government, aiming to provide immediate private out-patient rehabilitation treatment services to injured construction employees.

"The Pilot Programme is beneficial to both injured construction employees and employers,” a spokesperson from the Labour Department said. “Injured employees can receive rehabilitation treatment services early, preventing work injuries from developing into chronic conditions. The early recovery and return to work of employees can also help maintain productivity.”

Read more: Hong Kong orders construction suspension after workplace accident

According to the government, eligible employees must meet the following criteria:

  • their work injuries happened on or after September 1, 2022
  • they were engaged in the construction industry at the time of the work injury
  • they sustained a musculoskeletal injury because of the work injury or contracted a musculoskeletal occupational disease prescribed under the Employees' Compensation Ordinance (ECO)
  • they have been absent from work for six weeks or more, or are expected to be absent from work for six weeks or more because of the work injury

When receiving their private out-patient rehabilitation services, qualified employees will only need to pay the fees similar to public hospitals or clinics. Services may include medical treatment, physiotherapy, occupational therapy, and imaging examination services.

They’ll also be assigned a person to follow up their rehabilitation treatment and return-to-work arrangements. Patients may also claim reimbursement of their medical expenses from their employers in accordance with the ECO.

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Employers have been reminded to comply with the ECO requirement on reporting work injuries to the Labour Department as soon as possible. This is so victims can be contacted, tapped, and receive early rehabilitation treatment as part of the pilot programme. 

The Hong Kong government engaged with Actmax Limited for the implementation of the programme. The company, as well as the CUHK Medical Centre, established the Work Injury Rehabilitation Office to provide the multidisciplinary rehabilitation treatment, case management and return-to-work arrangement services.

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