LUXEMBOURG: Industrial doctor, a profession under pressure

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From occupational risk prevention to the redeployment of workers, the industrial doctor plays a crucial role in the enterprise. Or rather, he should play this role.

At the heart of a system funded by employers’ contributions, in insufficient numbers to cope with the needs of the job market, which increased by more than 70% between 2000 and 2017, do industrial doctors really have the means to accomplish their mission efficiently and independently? According to the trade unions, who since 2014 have pleaded for the establishment of a national occupational medicine service which would also be tripartite, the answer is clearly “No”. 

In Luxembourg at present, there are eight occupational health services for the private sector, each proposing its own concept and setting its prices. Businesses are free to opt for the one that suits them. This poses a problem for the OGBL trade union, which considers that this “commercial approach” is detrimental to the satisfactory functioning of the occupational medicine service.

The trade union also stresses that, apart from the multi-sector occupational health service (STM) under tripartite management, the other services are “guided” by employers, which is a major obstacle to independence. The “travailleurs désignés” (appointed workers) and personnel representatives of various enterprises are highly critical of their industrial doctor.

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