In order to be compensated for occupational asthma in Quebec, the diagnosis must be proved using objective means. The system provides direct help to affected workers in two ways: through readaptation with an income replacement indemnity and by providing for permanent impairment/disability. The scheme of allowances for permanent impairment/disability has been used since 1985 and seems to be satisfactory. Employee and physician claims for compensation are addressed to a regional office of the Workers Compensation Board. Claims concerning respiratory ailments are referred by the Medical Direction of the Board to a committee of three chest physicians. There are committees at four university hospitals in the province. The chairmen of each committee meet to approve or reject decisions made by the original committee. Suspected cases of occupational asthma are referred to specialists for further study. These specialists work in three university hospitals that have facilities for investigating occupational asthma such as challenge rooms and trained technicians. Criteria used for compensation, types of compensation, and costs are discussed.
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