Fukushima hospitals cut services as funds dry up
Fukushima hospitals in financial strife / Services being cut as medical facilities’ losses top 12 billion yen due to nuclear crisis Joji Takagai / Yomiuri Shimbun 31 Dec 11, FUKUSHIMA--Hospitals in Fukushima Prefecture are facing financial strain–and cutting services–due to the ongoing impact of the crisis at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The prefecture’s hospital association, to which about 90 percent of
its hospitals belong, recently estimated that the hospitals’ combined
losses would reach at least 12.6 billion yen for the first year after
the outbreak of the nuclear crisis in March.
The hospitals demanded TEPCO pay compensation for the first six
months. They received an average of about 70 percent of their request,
though retirement bonuses for doctors and other expenses were not
Due to the financial shortfall, hospitals that lost staff following
the disaster have been forced to limit their services, such as
reducing the number of inpatients they accept.
Futaba Kosei Hospital in Futabamachi in the prefecture is located
within the no-entry zone. The hospital suspended all operations
shortly after the crisis started, leaving behind medicine, X-ray
equipment and other large machinery.
Hospital Director Shuichi Shigetomi, 61, went with other officials on
two occasions to inspect the hospital. But all they could do in the
limited time they were permitted was retrieve medical records and
The number of doctors at the hospital decreased from 12 to five, and
that of nurses from 125 to 68. Doctors who did not leave are now
working in other affiliated hospitals…….
Of the 24 hospitals, seven are inside the no-entry zone and six are in
areas that had been designated as emergency evacuation preparation
zones until late September.
Fourteen hospitals demanded a combined 4.77 billion yen in
compensation for losses through August.
By Dec. 12, six of them had received a total of 2.29 billion yen.
However, TEPCO paid only between 41 percent and 81 percent of the
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