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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 April 1 - 7  > Amid calls for increasing efforts to cope with surge in corona cases, Tokyo governor declares cuts in healthcare spending
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2020 April 1 - 7 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Amid calls for increasing efforts to cope with surge in corona cases, Tokyo governor declares cuts in healthcare spending

April 2, 2020

Despite a proposal of a government panel of experts on infectious diseases that major cities, such as Tokyo, strengthen their healthcare system to cope with a surge in COVID-19 cases, the Tokyo government is sticking to its plan to convert 14 public hospitals, including eight metropolitan hospitals, into for-profit hospitals.

Secretary General of the Japanese Communist Party Tokyo Metropolitan Assemblymembers’ Group Izumi Naomi on April 1 issued a statement protesting against the Tokyo government’s announcement on the previous day that it will complete the conversion of the 14 hospitals into independent administrative entities within two years.

Izumi in the statement referred to the metropolitan government’s explanation that after the 14 hospitals are transformed into corporate bodies, they will provide “maximum service at minimum cost”. Pointing out that the Tokyo government evidently aims to slash its medical budget, she said that it ignores its role of financially assisting public medical institutions that are able and willing to provide residents with even unprofitable medical services.

Furthermore, Izumi cited the fact that public hospitals converted into independent administrative bodies are required by law to conduct a structural reform including doing away with unprofitable departments every three to five years. She criticized the Tokyo government’s explanation that the conversion will improve the 14 hospitals’ role in the city’s local medical system, such as acceptance of unprofitable patients, for misleading Tokyo citizens.

Izumi pointed out that of the 1,500 public comments submitted to the metropolitan government, the majority opposed the conversion plan. She said that Governor Koike Yuriko should keep her election promise to listen sincerely to Tokyoites’ voices.

Past related articles:
> JCP Tokyo assembly members demand strengthening of countermeasures against new coronavirus [February 4, 2020]
> JCP criticizes Tokyo gov’t budget draft for promoting conversion of public hospitals into for-profit bodies [January 25, 2020]
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