Question 103: Must enterprises hire a full-time doctor when they employ 500 Employees or more? What are the doctor’s job details and should they be stated clearly in the doctor’s job description table?

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  1. Must the Employer establish a health department when employing 500 Employees or more?

Pursuant to the Law on labour safety and hygiene, the Employer must assign personnel to medical duties or establish the health department which is responsible for taking care of the Employee’s health based on scale, nature of work, labour accident risks, occupational diseases and working conditions[1]. To be more specific, pursuant to Decree 39/2016/NĐ-CP, production and business units must establish the health department as follows[2]:

For production and business units operating in the business lines of processing and preserving aquatic products and products from aquaculture, mining, producing garments, leather, shoes, coal, chemicals, manufacturing products from rubber and plastic, recycling wasted products, environmental hygiene, metal production, building and repairing ships, producing building materials:

  • To have at least 01 healthcare Employee with a vocational qualification if there are less than 300 Employees;
  • To have at least 01 doctor/intermediate level physician and 01 healthcare Employee with a vocational qualification if there are 300-500 Employees;
  • To have at least 01 doctor and maintain at each shift 01 healthcare Employee with a vocational qualification if there are 500-1000 Employees;
  • If there are 1000 or more Employees, to organise a healthcare division complying with the regulations of the law on examining and treating diseases.

For production and business units operating in other business lines:

  • To have at least 01 healthcare Employee with a vocational qualification if there are less than 500 Employees;
  • To have at least 1 intermediate level physician and 1 healthcare Employee with a vocational qualification if there are 500 to under 1000 Employees; and
  • To have at least 01 doctor and 1 healthcare Employee if there are 1,000 Employees or more.

As such, when the Employer hires 500 to 1,000 Employees, they must establish a health department with at least 01 intermediate level physician and 01 healthcare Employee with a vocational qualification. Only those enterprises which operate in the special business lines must employ at least 01 doctor and maintain at each shift 01 healthcare Employee with a vocational qualification. However, if the Employer cannot satisfy the above conditions, they can sign contracts with a competent medical facility to provide sufficient healthcare Employees and to help deal with emergency cases as they happen.

2. The job details for which a doctor must be responsible in an enterprise

Pursuant to the Law on labour safety and hygiene, healthcare Employees or the health department will be responsible for advising the Employer on and directly managing the Employee’s health as follows[3]:

  • Prepare the options and means to provide first aid, emergency services, essential medicines and emergency cases of labour accidents, provide training sessions on first aid and emergency for Employees;
  • Plan and hold sessions of health examination, occupational disease examination and detection, medical examination to determine the decrease of working capacity when Employees have labour accidents or occupational diseases, nursery and recovery of working capacity, advising on occupational disease prevention and fighting methods; propose appropriate jobs for the Employee’s health;
  • Hold sessions of medical examination and treatment at the enterprise’s premise, provide first aid and emergency services for victims of labour accident, and incidents of labour safety and hygiene;
  • Disseminate information about labour hygiene, preventing and fighting occupational diseases, improving health at the workplace; inspect the compliance with regulations on labour hygiene, make plans to prevent and fight against epidemics, ensure food safety and hygiene for Employees; make plans for providing in-kind support for Employees;
  • Set up and manage information about labour hygiene activities at the workplace; monitor the working environment to assess hazard factors; manage the Employee’s health documents, and the health documents of Employees with occupational diseases (if any); and
  • Cooperate with the department of labour safety and hygiene to carry out the relevant duties as prescribed by law.

Therefore, when the Employer hires a full-time doctor/intermediate level physician to take care of the Employee’s health, their job details should be stated clearly in the job description to ensure all the above details are included.


[1]Article 73.1 Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene

[2]Articles 37.1(c) and 37.2(b) Decree 39/2016/NĐ-CP dated 15/05/2016

[3]Article 73.2 Law on Labour Safety and Hygiene