Hesperian Health Guides

Chapter 25: Access to health care

HealthWiki > Workers' Guide to Health and Safety > Chapter 25: Access to health care

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The machines get better care than we do!

In most factories, workers do not have access to appropriate health care. Many factory owners see access to health as an extra, costly burden instead of an investment that will pay for itself in healthier workers, resulting in fewer missed working days, less turnover, and increased efficiency. Even when national laws guarantee access to care either in the factory or in the greater community, there is often no way to enforce these laws and get access to care.

In order to change the promise of health care from a goal to a reality, workers need:

  • access to care for accidents or emergencies in the factory.
  • access to a quality, appropriate, and affordable local clinic open during hours that make it easy for workers to get care.
  • access to care for workers’ families.
  • national policies that recognize and support health and access to care as a human right.
  • support for training of health and safety promoters to monitor and advocate for the health of factory workers.