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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 July 1 - 7  > JCP Koike: 400 nurses will resign due to cancellation of their seasonal bonus despite their fight against COVID-19
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2020 July 1 - 7 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

JCP Koike: 400 nurses will resign due to cancellation of their seasonal bonus despite their fight against COVID-19

July 3, 2020
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on July 2 at an off-session Diet committee meeting said that 400 nurses at Tokyo Women’s Medical University Hospital decided to resign after the hospital notified the labor union that the summer bonus would not be paid this year, and Koike demanded government support for medical institutions facing financial difficulties due to the coronavirus pandemic.

At the House of Councilors Health, Labor and Welfare Committee meeting, Koike pointed out that surveys conducted separately by the Japan Hospital Association and the Japan Medical Association showed that medical institutions across the country are undergoing deteriorating financial situations regardless of whether they accept COVID-19 patients or not.

Koike stressed that as called for by the two medical associations, the government should implement emergency support measures such as the payment of the same amount of remuneration for medical services as that paid last year.

In response, Health and Labor Minister Kato Katsunobu, while saying that he is also aware that medical institutions are experiencing financial distress, turned down Koike’s request for the remuneration payment at the same level as the previous year. He added that as a support measure, the Health Ministry has a loan scheme to help medical institutions with cash-flow problems.

Asked by Koike how many hospitals and clinics received a loan under the ministry’s program, a ministry official said that 6,600 did as of the end of June. Koike insisted that the loan scheme is insufficient to change the situation and that an additional support measures is essential.

Koike referred to a 7.5-trillion-yen medical support package proposed in May by a group of Liberal Democratic Party Dietmembers who are involved in the medical field. He noted that the package includes a program which assumes all medical facilities suffer a 30%-decline in revenue and compensates for 80% of that loss. Koike said that this is reasonable and that the government should implement the program with the use of the 10-trillion-yen reserve fund in the second supplementary budget. He added that given that the program is backed by both the LDP and JCP, there is no need for the government to wait to implement it.
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