Vice President Iotova: Employees' Health Is Hostage to Market Mechanisms
119 ECONOMY - VICE PRESIDENT - LECTURE - OCCUPATIONAL MEDICINE
Vice President Iotova: Employees' Health Is
Hostage to Market
Sofia, February 7 (BTA) - Employees' health is becoming a hostage to market mechanisms and competition between enterprises and firms; the strive towards quality working conditions is giving way to the strive towards lower expenses for the company, Vice President Iliana Iotova said at Sofia's Medical University on Thursday. She was giving a public lecture on contemporary challenges facing occupational medicine, the presidential press secretariat reported.
In her words, due to the economic and financial collapse, jobs at any cost have displaced the rights to safe work achieved by European citizens. "'The Hunger Games' describe a large part of Bulgarian production. Seamstresses in Bulgaria are often compared to those in Cambodia due to the poor working conditions and low pay," Iotova said.
The Vice President also spoke about the so-called modern illnesses, which are the result of what appears to be an innocent type of exploitation. Thanks to technologies, in the case of more qualified professions employers have 24-hour access to their employees and demand overtime work without extra pay, she argued. There has been no public discussion on the development of occupational medicine during the 4th Industrial Revolution, she said.
Iotova also said that the EU is experiencing a shortage of occupational physicians. In Bulgaria and Romania there are under 10 such specialists per 100,000 workers, while in Italy, Latvia and Finland they number over 40, the Vice President noted. According to her, Bulgaria still lacks attractive enough conditions for young doctors to choose to specialize in occupational medicine.