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HOME  > Past issues  > 2011 September 28 - October 4  > Ichida calls for financial support to all disaster-hit medical facilities
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2011 September 28 - October 4 [GREAT EAST JAPAN DISASTER]

Ichida calls for financial support to all disaster-hit medical facilities

September 30, 2011
Japanese Communist Party Secretariat Head Ichida Tadayoshi, on September 29 at a House of Councilors budget committee meeting, urged the government to offer assistance to all medical institutions to help them recover from the quake and tsunami devastation.

In the three disaster-hit prefectures of Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima, 300 hospitals and 1,159 clinics were damaged by the March 11 disaster.

The government included a subsidy for the post-disaster reconstruction of medical facilities in the first supplementary budget in FY 2011, which has been utilized by 125 hospitals and 165 clinics so far. However, completely-destroyed medical buildings are not eligible to apply for the funding. Temporary hospitals with the capability to offer in-patient care are not eligible for it either.

The government also allows only public medical institutions, not private ones, to apply to the program.

Pointing out that the delay in the recovery of medical services has led to deaths of some patients with severe health conditions, Ichida demanded that the government urgently expand the subsidy program. Health Minister Komiyama Yoko answered that the government will make the program more flexible and accessible to struggling hospitals and clinics in the devastated region.

Ichida also called on the government to extend the period of free medical care for disaster victims, due to expire in February.

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