Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 March 16 - 22  > LDP, Komei, and 'Tomin' party abolish metropolitan hospitals, turning them into for-profit bodies
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2022 March 16 - 22 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

LDP, Komei, and 'Tomin' party abolish metropolitan hospitals, turning them into for-profit bodies

March 16-18, 2022
The Liberal Democratic Party, the Komei Party, and the "Tomin First no Kai" party at a meeting of the Health and Welfare Committee of the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly on March 17 used their majority to pass an ordinance bill to abolish metropolitan- and publicly-run hospitals in order to transform them into incorporated administrative agencies. The Japanese Communist Party, the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan, and a local political group voted against the bill.

Concurrently, a revision bill to exclude 6,838 metropolitan hospitals' staff from the metropolitan employees' payroll was passed through the General Affairs Committee of the Metropolitan Assembly with the support of the LDP-Komei coalition and the "Tomin" party. The JCP and the CDPJ were opposed to the bill.

JCP Tokyo Metropolitan Assemblyperson Fujita Ryoko at the Health and Welfare Committee meeting expressed her opposition to the abolition of metropolitan hospitals by saying, "Corporate hospitals will make cutbacks in overall public services. The real aim is to reduce the number of public employees and to cut personnel costs."

JCP Hara Noriko at the General Affairs Committee meeting pointed out, "Tokyo, judging from the current situation where many metropolitan employees are worn out dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, needs more public workers." She criticized, "The removal of metropolitan hospital staff from their positions as public employees may lead to a massive cutback in the number of metropolitan employees as a whole."

JCP Shiraishi Tamio at a Health and Welfare Committee meeting held two days earlier stated that the hidden purposes of transforming public hospitals into corporate bodies are a net reduction of local government employees and a future integration/realignment of public facilities, demanding that the bill to abolish metropolitan hospitals be withdrawn.

On the same day, outside the metropolitan government office building, concerned Tokyoites and citizens' organizations staged a protest action. Facing the building, they shouted in chorus, "Don't abolish metropolitan hospitals! Maintain public hospitals making hard efforts to rescue Tokyoites from COVID-19!" JCP Tokyo Metropolitan Assemblyperson Ozaki Ayako delivered her speech in solidarity with this action.

A representative of a medical/care-related advocacy organization reported that the organization collected more than 57,000 signatures over the past three months on a petition calling for the cancellation of the plan to turn public hospitals into corporations.

Former President of the Japan Federation of Bar Association Utsunomiya Kenji, an initiator of the petition, said, "It is outrageous to push ahead with the plan to convert public facilities into corporate entities amid the ongoing pandemic," calling on protesters to stop the privatization and consolidation of public healthcare institutions.

Past related article:
> Tokyoites' medical resources may go to for-profit 'medical tourism' [March 11, 2021]
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved