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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 August 4 - 10  > PM Suga has no sense of crisis in regard to Tokyo’s healthcare system at brink of collapse
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2021 August 4 - 10 [POLITICS]

PM Suga has no sense of crisis in regard to Tokyo’s healthcare system at brink of collapse

August 4, 2021

Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Koike Akira on August 2 on a BS news program said that Prime Minister Suga appears to feel no sense of urgency about Tokyo’s healthcare system which is at the brink of collapse due to an alarming spike in COVID-19 cases.

The BS-TBS program, “Hodo 1930” reported on a COVID patient who had to wait eight hours in an ambulance to be hospitalized because nearly 100 hospitals rejected admission on the grounds that they have no beds available for new patients.

Commenting on the report, Koike referred to the current situation in Tokyo. He said that the number of COVID-19 patients who are unable to access adequate treatment surpassed 20,000. He went on to say that the percentage of severe cases waiting for hospitalization has increased. He said, “Experts recognize the current serious situation as unprecedented. Nevertheless, PM Suga has only given optimistic messages, including claiming a decrease in the percentage of elderly people infected with the virus. Suga has no sense of crisis about the current situation.”

Koike cited that the Suga government recently changed its policy regarding COVID patient hospitalization. Under the new policy, in areas like Tokyo where a spike in new cases is occurring, only severe cases and people at high risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms will be hospitalized.

The JCP secretariat head pointed out that the current system is insufficient to provide proper care to home-isolated patients, such as monitoring and dealing with sudden changes in the patient’s condition. He said that under the new hospitalization policy, it is highly likely that more and more COVID patients will die in places other than hospitals.

Stating that it is unacceptable for the government to change an important health policy without Diet deliberation, Koike appealed for the need to open an extraordinary session of the Diet.

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