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HOME  > Past issues  > 2021 October 13 - 19  > Medical workers unite to realize change of gov't to protect lives
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2021 October 13 - 19 TOP3 [LABOR]

Medical workers unite to realize change of gov't to protect lives

October 15, 2021

Healthcare organizations and medical-related workers' unions on October 14 held a rally at Tokyo's Hibiya Amphitheater, calling for a change of government to protect lives and to improve medical and social welfare programs.

Sasaki Etsuko, chair of the Japan Federation of Medical Workers' Unions (Iroren), said that in contrast to the Kishida government intent to continue cutting back on the country's social welfare services, opposition parties in their common agenda propose "a shift from the policy of cutting medical spending". She called on rally participants, "Let us realize a government which will protect people's lives!"

A private-practice doctor said, "Many people do not go to see a doctor as frequent as before in order to save money. Cuts in medical fee payments for patients as well as an increase in medical service fees for doctors are necessary in order to prevent economic disparities from causing medial disparities."

A public health nurse said, "Dealing with COVID-19, many public health nurses are now working excessively long hours, exceeding the government-set danger line for 'karoshi' (death from overwork). An increase in manpower and improvements in pubic health centers are necessary."

A nurse said, "My work is to save lives, but we are now in a society where many people have to struggle hard just to survive. I hope this situation will change."

A nursing-care worker said, "I cannot take a paid holiday due to a labor shortage. A drastic increase in the number of staff is vital to protect both patients and caregivers."

Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Miyamoto Toru and JCP member of the House of Councilors Ito Gaku delivered solidarity speeches. Dietmembers from the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan and from the Social Democratic Party sent video messages in solidarity.
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