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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 8 - 14  > 2 medical societies sense danger of possible medical collapse
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2020 April 8 - 14 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

2 medical societies sense danger of possible medical collapse

April 12, 2020
The Japanese Association for Acute Medicine and the Japanese Society for Emergency Medicine on April 9 released a statement expressing a sense of danger about a possible collapse of the country's medical systems by saying that they already feel the first signs of a collapse in emergency medical services.

According to their statement, accident and hospital emergency centers are having difficulties in accepting critical-emergency patients as the new coronavirus infections are spreading.

They are concerned about missing the timing of the treatment especially for time-critical cases such as heart attacks, strokes, and multiple injuries.

They cited that several critical-care patients after being taken to emergency centers were found to be positive for the coronavirus, stressing the need of a quick testing method. They pointed out that a serious shortage of personal protective gear, medical masks, and gowns at the first-aid frontline could accelerate a collapse of emergency medical services.

Protective gear far from enough

There is an absolute shortage of protective equipment and gear in most medial institutions. A survey conducted by the Osaka Medical and Practitioners for the Improvement of Medical Care reveals that many private-practice doctors and dentists, amid the shortage of masks and antiseptic solution, are undertaking community healthcare and examining patients who may have contracted the coronavirus.

According to the survey results, as of April 8, 69.6% of the respondent medical institutions in Osaka said the shortage of protective gear hinders their routine practice. Some practitioners even answered that they have to reuse masks.

The same survey shows that 84.8% of the respondents pointed to a decline in outpatient visits after the virus outbreak, and that 56.9% said that their outpatients decreased by 20%. Many clinics said that they want the government to conduct tax cuts and compensate them for loss of earnings as they still must pay salaries, rent, and insurance premiums.
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