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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 1 - 7  > COVID-19 crisis illuminates anew need to solve serious labor shortage facing nursing-care industry
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2020 April 1 - 7 [LABOR]

COVID-19 crisis illuminates anew need to solve serious labor shortage facing nursing-care industry

April 6, 2020

A coronavirus cluster outbreak at a nursing-care facility in Ibaraki Prefecture has highlighted anew the urgent need to solve the serious labor shortage in the nursing-care industry without delay.

The Ibaraki Prefectural government at the end of March made public that at a nursing-care facility in Tsukuba City, a cluster infection of the coronavirus involving facility workers and residents broke out.

In response to an Akahata inquiry, a facility staff said, “Since the cluster infection was announced, due to fear of infection, cleaning and laundry service providers and companies dealing with necessary supplies have been refusing to enter the facility. On top of this, medical institutions nearby have also been reluctant to accept the facility’s workers and residents with chronic diseases. We feel we are being ostracized in our neighborhoods.”

This worker cited the fact that 90% of residents in this facility are demented persons whose symptoms vary from mild to severe and who require around-the-clock monitoring. The worker said, “The cluster infection has led to an increase in workloads, such as cleaning and washing, which has aggravated the understaffed situation here.”

The facility staff told Akahata that the labor shortage in the nursing-care industry has been caused by the government stance to turn its back on providing funding to support the elderly and nursing-care service providers and on taking measures that guarantee decent wages to care workers. The worker added, “One of the major reasons for the occurrence of the cluster infection was the environment where workers had to work in order to cover the labor shortage even if they felt ill. I want the government to address this problem without delay.”

Past related articles:
> Nearly 70% of nursing-care providers face labor shortage [ August 17, 2019]
> Low pay and aging of workers create critical crisis in nursing-care industry [April 23, 2019]

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