NATIONAL PUBLIC HEALTH CARE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAMME 2016-2023
In December 2015 the Government of Lithuania approved the National Public Health Care Development Programme 2016-2023. The programme sets national public health goals, objectives, evaluation criteria and planned to achieve values. One of the objectives defined in the programme is to ensure public health system sustainability. To achieve the said objective it is important to increase the quality and the affordability of public health, as well as occupational health care services. For the implementation of this task concerning improving occupational health care services it is necessary:
– to improve prevention mechanisms of work-related health problems, accidents at work and occupational diseases – more of them should be defined, the existing, new and emerging risks should be removed, the working environment and occupational risk assessment legislation should be reviewed and improved, a monitoring mechanism of work-related health problems as well as the quality assurance system to improve the quality of employees preventive health examinations should be created;
– to establish legal, administrative, financial and organisational occupational health care development conditions, to establish an occupational health care concept and to determine that the occupational health care services should be provided to all workers, to define the content of occupational health care services, to ensure the coordinating institution capacity in the national and regional levels in order to develop effective inter-institutional cooperation in occupational health care issue;
– to create financial and economic incentives mechanisms for encouraging employers to protect workers’ health – to draw up legislation to promote corporate social initiatives on this issue;
– to build up institutional capacity (infrastructure) to provide occupational health care services in the regions, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises – to develop a nomenclature and description of occupational health care services, to determine the required quantity of occupational health care professionals (among them – occupational health doctors, public health specialists, nurses, ergonomic specialists, physical therapists, family physicians providing medical services), to foresee the necessary competence assurance procedures and to perform an occupational health care services performance monitoring and measurement.
Certain concrete evaluation criteria were set up to ensure the implementation of the above listed means. For example, to decrease the number of persons who deprived 45 percent or more of capacity because of occupational diseases from 41 percent of all persons to whom an occupational diseases was defined in 2014 to 38 percent in 2019 and 34 percent in 2023. Another criterion is to increase the number of workers who have access to occupational health care services, provided by occupational health care professionals, from 3 percent of workers in 2012 to 10 percent in 2019 and 75 percent in 2023.
NATIONAL OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH AND SAFETY ACTION PLAN FOR THE YEAR 2017-2021
At the governmental level in May 2017 the National Occupational Health and Safety Action Plan for the year 2017-2021 has been approved. The main goal of the Action plan is to implement the Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) policy in the national level by promoting interest in OHS, ensuring OSH in order to improve working conditions and increase productivity.
The main goal is to be reached by implementation of the foreseen objectives, tasks and measures. One of the tasks foreseen in the Action plan is to increase the availability of high quality occupational health care services, especially for micro and small enterprises. For this the measure to develop a model for the provision of occupational health services for micro and small enterprises is planned. The responsible for the implementation of the said measure are Ministry of Health, Institute of Hygiene and social partners. The term for the implementation is the year 2019.
LAW ON SAFETY AND HEALTH AT WORK
1 July 2003 No. IX-1672 (Last amended on 1 July 2017)
The Law on Safety and Health at Work includes the basic provisions and the general objectives concerning occupational safety and health. It lays down the minimum level of requirements of safety and health at work.
The purpose of this Law is to lay down:
1) legal provisions and requirements in order to protect workers against occupational risks or to reduce such risks;
2) general provisions of occupational risk assessment, the procedure of investigation of accidents at work and occupational diseases;
3) requirements on safety and health at work applicable to working people under 18 years old, pregnant workers and workers who have recently given birth or are breastfeeding, and disabled persons;
4) public administration of safety and health at work and the competence of State institutions, the rights and obligations of employers, representatives of employers and workers in order to ensure safe and healthy working conditions, as well as the rights of representatives of workers when ensuring safe and healthy working conditions for workers;
5) general principles of responsibility for violation of legislation on safety and health at work.
The Law describes the employer’s general duties, procedures related to work and working conditions, and the duties of other persons having an impact on safety at work. The Law emphasizes the cooperation between the employer and employees.
REGULATION ON ENTERPRISE OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH SERVICES
The purpose of the Regulation is to define:
– establishing procedures of the Occupational Safety and Health Services in enterprises, institutions, or other organisations (hereinafter – Enterprises);
– functions of safety and health professionals, occupational health specialists;
– mandatory number of the safety and health specialists and occupational health professionals in a company;
– rights and duties of occupational safety and health professionals;
– economic activities of enterprises, taking into account the number of workers and occupational risks, in which occupational safety and health services may be performed by a person representing an employer or a person authorized by the employer for occupational safety and health.
On the ground of these Regulations companies must prepare the internal regulations for Safety and Health Service, if it is required to be established, as well as the job descriptions for occupational safety and health specialists and occupational health specialist.
REGULATION ON PROFESSIONAL REQUIREMENTS FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SPECIALISTS
The purpose of the Regulation is to define qualification requirements and professional expertise (competence) for occupational health professionals to be able to take an occupational health specialist position. Occupational health services can be provided either by the occupational health specialists in-plant or by the external health care service enterprises with a license to engage in general health activities.
The Regulation on Professional Requirements for Occupational Health Specialists provides the detailed definition of occupational health professional.
REGULATION ON PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT / TRAINING PROGRAMME CONTENT REQUIREMENTS FOR OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH SPECIALISTS
The Regulation on Professional Development / Training Programme Content Requirements for Occupational Health Specialists originates from the year 2010. The purpose of the Regulation is to define requirements of the programme content, professional development courses for occupational health professionals and the duration of the courses to be organised.
The Regulation is mandatory for all institutions of the Republic of Lithuania who have acquired the right to pursue non-formal education and those seeking to carry out in-service professional development of occupational health professionals. The Regulation is mandatory for the educational institutions lecturers who provide professional training for occupational health professionals, also mandatory for employers, who have occupational health professionals working in the enterprise.
The purpose of the programme is to ensure professional development of the occupational health professionals by expanding and updating their professional knowledge and practical skills.
The programme consists of separate training modules, which are subject to certain groups of occupational health specialists.