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HOME  > Past issues  > 2018 May 9 - 15  > One in three young medical workers suffer some form of harassment: union survey
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2018 May 9 - 15 [LABOR]

One in three young medical workers suffer some form of harassment: union survey

May 12, 2018

The Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions (Nihon Iroren) on May 11 published survey results showing that one in three young workers in medical and nursing-care facilities experienced some form of harassment.

The Iroren youth council between March and September 2017 surveyed young doctors, nurses, and care workers across the country about their experiences of suffering any type of harassment in the past three years and received more than 7,200 responses.

The survey found that 12% of the respondents were subjected to sexual harassment. Of them, 49.7% were sexually harassed by patients and their families and 13.7% were by senior co-workers. On the other hand, 26.6% of the respondents were victims of power harassment and 48.6% of them were harassed by their bosses.

As many as 46.7% of those who suffered harassment state that they considered giving up their career.

The most common case of power harassment was “instructions or directions with the use of inappropriate expressions” (32.2%). One of the respondents in a free-answer section wrote that when she felt sick due to pregnancy, she was told by her supervisor, “You should quit the job if you need to take many days off.”

Of the harassment victims, 43.1% sought advice from senior colleagues, 23.2% from bosses, and 22.8% from friends (multiple choices). On the other hand, 15.5% did not talk to anyone about the problems that they faced.

Kadoka Shun, who heads the Iroren youth council, stressed that chronic labor shortages in medical and nursing-care facilities have created a hotbed of harassment. He said that a drastic increase in the number of staff is essential to address the issue.

Past related articles:
> 70% of nurses suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome: union survey [September 21, 2017]
> 60% of nursing-care facilities force workers to work 16 hour shifts: Union survey [February 18, 2017]
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