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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 8 - 14  > Corona crisis directly hits short-handed social welfare entities
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2020 April 8 - 14 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Corona crisis directly hits short-handed social welfare entities

April 10, 2020
A state of social chaos due to expanding infections of the new coronavirus is directly hitting chronically short-handed and ailing social welfare entities in Japan.

A nationwide group of operators of social welfare corporations working to defend users' rights on March 10 submitted a written request to Prime Minister Abe Shinzo as follows: provide the resources necessary to prevent infections such as face masks and disinfectants; compensate for loss of earnings; subsidize hard-hit facilities; and revise the daily fee-for-service method of state remuneration.

A survey the group conducted shows that about 63% of facilities surveyed said they will run out of face masks, antiseptic solution, and other essential medical supplies within three weeks.

Under the present system of state remuneration, social welfare facilities are paid based on a fee-for-service method per day, i.e., no users - no remuneration.

Ibaraki Norihiro, the president of the Osaka welfare foundation said, "Because of the 'stay-at-home request', many users choose to not come to care facilities, but we still have to pay our staff. The running costs of each facility are vital. So, I want the government to immediately revise the existing system of remuneration."

He continued to say, "Telework, a temporary closure, or staggered working hours do not apply to the social welfare business. Group infections already occurred at a home for the handicapped in Chiba and at a nursing-care home in Ibaraki. The government has promoted 'self-help, mutual-aid' and 'marketization' of both the health and welfare sectors. As a result, each welfare entity has to shoulder all the responsibility. The ongoing corona crisis has exposed the vulnerability of the foundations of the country's social security and welfare system."
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