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Hep B carriers allowed to join public service
Updated: 2005-01-21 08:40

The ministries of health and personnel published the first health standards for public servants Thursday, allowing hepatitis B carriers to be employed as public servants.

The health standards listed 50 diseases that disqualify people from a government position, but said people with hepatitis B, gynecological diseases, or color blindness would qualify, CCTV reported.

China had no standard regulations for the health of public servants, but many regional governments had regulations disqualifying public servants with physical disabilities.

Some regulations limit public servants' height and some provinces had strange requirements for the appearance of public servants. Hunan Province used to refuse a woman with asymmetrical breasts.

People who suffered most discrimination, however, were hepatitis B carriers. In the past, many provinces did not allow hepatitis B carriers to be public servants, although no concrete evidence showed that the virus was contagious.

Experts estimate there are more than 100 million hepatitis B carriers in China, and many were subjected to discrimination when seeking a job.

One hepatitis B virus carrier, Zhou Yichao, stabbed a personnel official to death in Jiaxing City, Zhejiang Province after he was denied a government job in January 2003.

Synovate Healthcare, a London-based company, surveyed 425 hepatitis B patients in six Chinese cities and found that about 52 percent of those polled had lost a job or educational opportunity because of the disease.

Some 47 percent worry they would be fired if their employers found them to be hepatitis B sufferers, the October-November 2004 survey shows.

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