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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 September 29 - October 5  > Hospitals want 24,000 more doctors
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2010 September 29 - October 5 [WELFARE]

Hospitals want 24,000 more doctors

September 30, 2010
The number of doctors needed to staff hospitals and clinics nationwide is 191,000, indicating a shortage of 24,000, according to the welfare ministry survey released on September 29 that shows that the actual number of doctors is far from what the public requires to provide adequate medical services.

The Health, Labor, and Welfare Ministry sent questionnaires to 8,683 hospitals and 1,578 clinics, and 84 percent responded.

Hospitals and clinics in Iwate Prefecture are facing the most severe shortage of doctors. In order to maintain even the present level of medical capability, 1.4 times more doctors than they have are needed.

Japanese Communist Party Policy Commission Chair Koike Akira on the same day issued the following comment on the survey results:

“The welfare ministry conducted the first nationwide survey regarding the shortage of doctors. However, the ministry only asked medical institutions how many doctors they need and simply calculated the difference.

A ministry panel in July 2006 had proposed that the number of doctors be raised by 61,000 to reduce the working hours per doctor to 48 hours a week.

As a solution to the issue of the shortage of doctors, the JCP calls on the government to take measures to increase the number of medical school students and the amount of remuneration for medical treatment given to doctors and hosplitals.”
- Akahata, September 30, 2010
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