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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 16 - 22  > Over half of medical workers want to quit their jobs: survey
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2008 April 16 - 22 [LABOR]

Over half of medical workers want to quit their jobs: survey

April 16, 2008
A national medical trade union’s survey on their members’ work and health conditions found that more than half of home-care and welfare workers in Japan have thought of quitting their jobs.

The Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions (Iroren, chairperson, Tanaka Chieko) on April 14 published an interim report on the findings of its survey, the first to be conducted on medical workers’ health and medical services. The questionnaire was responded to by 6,818 workers from 41 prefectures.

While the national average of scheduled cash earnings a month for full-time workers was about 252,800 yen in FY 2006 (April 2006-March 2007), more than 40 percent of full-time care workers are paid less than 200,000 yen, a care worker get 194,600 yen; and home care aids (1st, 2nd, and 3rd degree) receive 175,200 yen.

As for hourly wage part-timers, the largest group of income, 29.4 % of them, receive less than 800 yen or 900 yen per hour.

Two thirds of workers who worked overtime were not paid for the extra hours of work they worked. About 80 percent of nurses who are on night watch, which is supposed to be free of routine work, say they do routine work while on night duty. This shows how the Labor Standard Law is being violated in many workplaces.

More than 50 percent of respondents answered that they have health problems. About 61 percent said, “It’s hard to recover from fatigue the next day or even after a holiday. More than half of the respondents complained about suffering from back pain or stiff necks.

About 70 percent of women who have experienced pregnancy said they experienced heavy morning sickness, miscarriages, and anemia.

Hospital workers are likely to stumble or fall down while performing their jobs due to a shortage of workers and excessively heavy workloads. Only 4.8 percent of the respondents said they think they provide services that satisfy the users.

Commenting on the findings, Tanaka stated, “Iroren will increase efforts to address issues related to workers’ working conditions while doing out utmost to increase our union membership and heighten public awareness. We want the public to recognize more about the reality of the work and health problems that medical and care workers have. We will also work harder to revise the nursing-care insurance system and to get working conditions improved.”
- Akahata, April 16, 2008
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