BEIJING - The Ministry of Health will offer free psychological counseling to at least 80 percent of migrant workers in 65 counties and cities as part of a pilot project that kicks off this year, the People's Daily reported on Sunday.
The psychological intervention aims to help migrant workers better adapt to their work environment and help ease the pressure of urban life, according to the ministry.
Under the project, which will cover 65 counties and cities in 29 provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions across the country, more than 80 percent of migrant workers will undergo at least one psychological counseling session to improve their adaptability.
Around half of the migrant workers who are under mental stress could have more than one session to help ease their pressure, the ministry said.
Labor disputes, complaints and wage arrears have bothered migrant workers in recent years and their psychological problems have aroused increasing concerns, especially after a series of suicide attempts earlier this year by workers at Foxconn - the world's biggest electronics contractor.
The ministry has urged all employers to set up a health database for migrant workers in all 65 counties.
The database should include the basic information of migrant workers, their health issues and health service records, it said.
The database should cover more than 80 percent of the migrant workers, and the employers are responsible for updating the database, according to the ministry.
The ministry will also launch studies on occupational diseases in all the pilot areas and offer migrant workers more knowledge about occupational disease prevention.
Local health authorities have been urged to provide free basic treatment for migrant workers who have tuberculosis. All workers who are suspected of contracting tuberculosis could receive free chest X-rays and sputum smear checks, the ministry said.
Prevention work on mother-to-child transmission of HIV/AIDS, syphilis and hepatitis B will also be promoted among migrant workers in the pilot areas and benefit up to 90 percent of them, the ministry said.
China's population of migrant workers reached a record 211 million in 2009 and is set to hit 350 million by 2050 if government policies remain unchanged, according to a report released by the National Population and Family Planning Commission in June this year.