JAPAN ATOMIC INDUSTRIAL FORUM, INC.

for Japanese

ATOMS in JAPAN

10 November, 2016

Report: Medical Professionals in Soma and Minami-Soma Halved in Number Right after March 2011 Earthquake and Nuclear Accident

Dr. Sae Ochi (MD, MPH, PhD, Director of Internal Medicine, Soma Central Hospital, Fukushima), in cooperation with physicians in the Hamadori region of Japan’s Fukushima Prefecture, compiled a report on the fluctuations in the number of medical professionals working at seven hospitals in the cities of Soma and Minami-Soma during an 18-month period from the earthquake and nuclear accident of March 11, 2011, to October 2012.

Dr. Sae Ochi

She has proposed that the lessons learned from the earthquake and accident include a need for measures to maintain a solid medical infrastructure.

The report’s authors tracked changes in the number of medical staff by category—doctors, nurses, clerical staff, medical technicians and pharmacists—working at seven hospitals in the affected area, but beyond a 20-km radius from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants and not damaged by tsunamis.

The table below shows results at approximately two-month intervals from March 1, 2011, before the earthquake, and immediately after it, to October 1, 2012.


Date

Doctors Nurses Clerical staff Other medical staff Total
Mar. 1, 2011 92 612 373 196 1,272
Period right after
Mar. 11, 2011
earthquake
53 291 140 111 595
Jun. 1, 2011 93 517 221 140 971
Jul. 1, 2011 96 513 199 141 949
Sep. 1, 2011 94 505 212 138 948
Nov. 1, 2011 96 509 224 143 972
Jan. 1, 2012 99 503 263 147 1,012
Mar. 1, 2012 102 509 277 160 1,048
May 1, 2012 98 527 285 165 1,075
Jul. 1, 2012 100 526 316 170 1,111
Oct. 1, 2012 98 525 293 171 1,087

 

As of October 1, 2012, there were 98 doctors working at the hospitals—six more than before the earthquake—but other medical staff still numbered below pre-disaster levels. There were notable differences among the hospitals, though, with the rate of recovery low at a private hospital and mental hospital some 25km from Fukushima Daiichi.Compared with before the earthquake and accident, the total number of medical professionals fell by 677 (or 53%), from 1,297 to 595, immediately afterward. The number of clerical staff fell by 233 (or 62%), nurses by 321 (or 52%), other medical staff by 85 (or 43%), and doctors by 39 (or 42%).

Owing to various circumstances, staffing at hospitals in the affected area remains depressed, and the collapsed state of the medical care system persists. The ratio of patients to hospital staff members has not improved either.

The authors of the report believe that the increased number of doctors is attributable to those interested in emergency medical care—or in the specific place or situation—moving to new positions in the area. They found that nurses and medical clerks were mostly women, and had left their positions due to concerns about radiation. Apart from doctors, hospital workers are primarily women.

Nurses, pharmacists, other caregivers and the like have qualifications and certifications that make it relatively easy for them to find new jobs. Many had evacuated out of concern for their children being bullied or exposed to radiation. Some had left when their husbands found new jobs outside the prefecture. Women who, prior to the accident, had been living with their mothers-in-law in traditional arrangements, experienced alternatives at evacuation sites and decided not to return. Or, some chose not to go back to avoid criticism for having “run away” in the first place.

Dr. Ochi emphasized that the Japanese government “should provide appropriate support to individual hospitals so that regional medical institutions can maintain their functions in times of disaster.”

Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

SNS facebooktwitter

NPPs Map

Video

Grossi on Fukushima: Marking a Decade Since the Accident

10 March, 2021
Grossi on Fukushima: Marking a Decade Since the Accident04:11

Recent News

18 November, 2021
METI Minister Speaks to IAEA International Conference on Decade of Progress Since Fukushima Daiichi Accident
15 November, 2021
Nuclear Energy’s Contribution to Achieving SDGs
8 November, 2021
COP26: Prime Minister Kishida Announces Additional Contribution of USD10 Billion for Climate Change Measures
30 October, 2021
Reelection of Suttsu Mayor Means Literature Investigation for HLW Disposal Will Continue
21 October, 2021
Kishida Makes First Visit to Fukushima Since Becoming Prime Minister
15 October, 2021
LDP Adds SMR Development and Nuclear Fusion to NPP Restarts in Its Policy Manifesto
7 October, 2021
Kishida Administration Inaugurated, with New METI Minister Hagiuda Holding Press Conference on Taking Office
6 October, 2021
IAEA Holds 65th General Conference in Vienna, with Japanese Minister of State for Science and Technology Delivering Statement in the General Debate
30 September, 2021
JAEC Releases 2020 White Paper on Nuclear Energy
17 September, 2021
NRA Permits Shimane-2 under New Regulatory Standards
14 September, 2021
IAEA Deputy Director General Evrard Visits Japan in Advance of Safety Review of ALPS-treated Water
1 September, 2021
Evaluation Report Issued by IAEA’s Review Mission to Fukushima Daiichi: First Visit since 2018
24 August, 2021
METI and IAEA Agree on Further Review Missions to Fukushima Daiichi
4 August, 2021
JAEA Restarts High-Temperature Engineering Test Reactor “HTTR”
2 August, 2021
Information about Fukushima Daiichi NPS Water Treatment
28 July, 2021
METI’s Committee Shows Rough Draft of Next Strategic Energy Plan
2 July, 2021
Mihama-3 Restarted After Decade-long Hiatus: First Restart in Japan of a Reactor Operating Beyond 40 Years
28 June, 2021
Mihama-3 Restarts after Decade-long Hiatus
25 June, 2021
New Canada-Japan Partnership Supports Greater Collaboration to Meet Climate Change Objectives and Net-zero Goals
24 June, 2021
METI Issues New Green Growth Strategy Through Achieving Carbon Neutrality
▲TOP