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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 May 26 - June 1  > 70% of welfare facilities frustrated with lack of necessary prerequisites in COVID-19 prevention
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2021 May 26 - June 1 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

70% of welfare facilities frustrated with lack of necessary prerequisites in COVID-19 prevention

June 1, 2021
About 70% of welfare facilities for elderly people, persons with disabilities, and children are frustrated with the continued shortage of hygiene products, staff members, compensation, equipment, and information in dealing with anti-coronavirus measures. Staff workloads in these facilities have increased in association with the tougher countermeasures to prevent COVID-19.

The Japan Federation of Medical Workers' Unions (Iroren) surveyed 134 facilities of its member establishments throughout Japan and released the results on May 31.

According to the survey results, staff members who were infected with or were suspected of having COVID-19 accounted for about 22% of the total, up from zero last year. About 94% of the surveyed facilities answered that they received a special allowance from the national government and 90% of them said that the amount was only 50,000 yen. About 49% said their yearly income "decreased" and 34% "remained the same".

In a free-answer section, the responses include: "A drastic increase in PCR tests and securing enough vaccines are needed" (Okinawa Pref.); "Just one infection among care-home residents or staff will make it difficult for us to protect the residents' lives" (Nagano Pref.); and "We hope the government will provide more money for healthcare, welfare, and nursing-care centers than for the Olympic events" (Gunma Pref.).

Iroren President Morita Shinobu held a press conference in the Health and Welfare Ministry building and said, "It is essential for the government to procure necessary supplies, cover earning losses of welfare facilities, and support staff acquisition. The situation in most welfare facilities is very pressing."
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