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HOME  > Past issues  > 2010 June 30 - July 6  > Intractable disease patients hold rally against budget cuts
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2010 June 30 - July 6 [WELFARE]

Intractable disease patients hold rally against budget cuts

November 15, 2009
Intractable disease patients and their relatives held a rally on November 14 in Tokyo demanding that the government forgo cutting the budget for research aimed at developing treatment.

The Japan Patient Association, which comprises 63 organizations with a total membership of 300,000, sponsored the rally.

In Japan, there are about 5,000 or 7,000 incurable or intractable diseases in which effective medical treatments have not been found.

However, the Democratic Party-led government’s budget plan for FY 2010 related to intractable diseases is down 2.5 billion yen from the FY 2009 budget of 10 billion yen.

The government intends to stop subsidizing medical research aimed at establishing treatments for distal myopathy, spino cerebellar degeneration, and other intractable diseases. The subsidy started only a year ago.

A representative of the association of patients of diencephalohypophysial disorders stated, “When we go to hospitals, we must pay a good deal for the medical costs even though we have health insurance because the present coverage system applied to high expenses doesn’t help us. Some of us find it difficult to go to hospitals. We need help.”

Participants asked various questions of representatives of the Japanese Communist, Democratic, and Komei parties regarding intractable disease measures.

Stressing that “This is a life-and-death matter for patients,” Kami Tomoko, JCP member of the House of Councilors, urged the government to not cut the budget for intractable diseases.

The JCP will work hard to establish a state system that will ensure any patient of intractable diseases to easily access medical care and welfare systems with no financial worry, Kami added.
- Akahata, November 15, 2009
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