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HOME  > Past issues  > 2019 December 11 - 17  > Tokyo JCP urges governor to retract policy of cutting off funds for metropolitan hospitals
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2019 December 11 - 17 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Tokyo JCP urges governor to retract policy of cutting off funds for metropolitan hospitals

December 12, 2019

Japanese Communist Party member of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly Harada Akira on December 10 at an assembly meeting urged Governor Koike Yuriko to retract her policy of turning all of the eight metropolitan hospitals into local incorporated administrative institutions for the purpose of cutting down on welfare spending.

Harada criticized Governor Koike for proposing a plan to reform Tokyo-run hospitals in her policy speech last week. He pointed out that metropolitan hospitals provide medical services which are unprofitable but vital for residents, such as treatment for sick children, expectant mothers, persons with disabilities, and intractable disease patients as well as injured disaster victims following an emergency. Harada noted that if turned into incorporated administrative bodies, these public hospitals will be required to reach a certain level of profitability. He pointed out that this is why in former national or municipal hospitals which were turned into incorporated administrative agencies, it is often the case that they closed down unprofitable obstetrical departments, that doctors resigned and moved to other hospitals one after another, and that some hospitals were closed down, which led to local residents not having access to public medical care.

Refuting the governor’s insistence that the conversion of public hospitals into incorporated administrative agencies will contribute to securing enough medical staff, Harada said that the Saitama City Hospital, for example, succeeded in increasing the numbers of doctors by 30% and nurses by 50% in the last eleven years. On the other hand, he went on to say, in Tokyo, the governor neglected to increase the number of doctors and even reduced the number of nurses at metropolitan hospitals. Harada stressed that the governor should change her policy on Tokyo-run hospitals.

Governor Koike maintained that the best way to improve metropolitan hospitals’ operations is to turn them into local incorporated administrative agencies.

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