Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 22 - May 12  > Gov't support for medical system grossly insufficient
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2020 April 22 - May 12 [POLITICS]

Gov't support for medical system grossly insufficient

April 23, 2020
Hospitals need government subsidy of 1.4 trillion yen for six months according to a trial calculation. However, the government allocated only 149 billion yen in their budget for the medical system as an emergency measure to support the economy under the coronavirus crisis.

According to calculations done by the BS-TBS program "Hodo 1930" which was broadcast on April 22, the government in its emergency economic package budgeted 669.5 billion yen for the prevention of the spread of COVID-19.

Appearing on the program, Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo pointed out that out of that amount, only 149 billion yen will be allotted for assistance to the healthcare system. Shii then cited the subsidy program of Tokyo's Suginami Ward as an example.

The Suginami Ward government recently decided to subsidize hospitals accepting coronavirus patients in order to make up for their loss in earnings. The ward government estimates that the amount of loss will average 200 million yen a month per hospital.

Currently, about 1,200 medical institutions in Japan are dealing with people who are suspected of being infected with the coronavirus. Simply calculated, this means that 240 billion yen would be necessary each month. If this continued for six months, the total loss would be 1.4 trillion yen. Shii said, "This indicates that the government budget allotted is an order of magnitude smaller than the amount necessary to cover estimated losses. The government should increase the budget to several trillion yen. Otherwise, hospitals will cease to function.

The program also revealed that the government in the emergency economic package allocated only 4.9 billion yen to "secure the system to provide PCR testing".

Shii cited an example of the Tokyo Medical Association which is now preparing to launch several PCR centers in Tokyo. According to the association's projection, the cost for one center will be 50 million yen a month, which means one billion yen for 20 centers per month. Shii said, "The government is not providing the necessary funding for frontline medical facilities that need it."
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved