AUSTRIA: recognition of mesotheliomas is relatively low

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In Austria, employers and doctors must report any suspicion of an occupational disease. More than eight out of ten mesotheliomas are related to exposure to asbestos, which is mainly of occupational origin. They should be reported to AUVA, the competent accident insurance body. However, the AUVA recognises relatively few mesotheliomas.

The link between occupational exposure and mesothelioma is scientifically proven and unequivocal. Moreover, tobacco consumption does not play a significant role in the development of the pathology. Thus, where there is an appropriate occupational history and latency period, the victim or his or her dependants are always compensated under the accident insurance scheme. However, there is a discrepancy between the figures from Statistics Austria (StatAT) and the cases recognised by the AUVA. For 1,356 people diagnosed with mesothelioma between 2004 and 2016, only 543 cases were recognised as occupational diseases.

To remedy this situation, the aim would be to better inform doctors, as part of a campaign, of their obligation to declare occupational diseases. They should be provided with general knowledge of occupational disease law and basic knowledge of occupational medicine.

Source (in German, p. 14)

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