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JAMA 75 Years Ago
October 24/31, 2007

Japan: The Impoverished Villages and Practitioners

Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2007;298(16):1950. doi:10.1001/jama.298.16.1950-d

Foreign Letters

The condition in villages has had a great influence on practitioners. The matter can hardly be left to take its own course. In Tokyo, although the charity hospitals and the so-called pay clinic enjoy a large practice, ordinary practitioners have little to do. Practitioners in the country have only 3 or 4 per cent of their medical fees paid. Their financial condition is now almost intolerable. Some are said to be unable to send their children to schools. Furthermore, patients are inclined to prefer going to the apothecaries for medicine instead of consulting physicians. When a patient goes to the doctor, he seldom continues his visits, even if he is ill. Thus he is left without any means of treatment. This condition among patients both in towns and in villages is under consideration by the government. The present session of the diet is discussing relief bills for the impoverished villages. If the bills pass, a large sum of money will be expended on public works to be done in the villages. The government intends to continue such relief work for three years if the diet passes the bills. The country practitioners are therefore looking forward to relief. Some factory owners have proposed to the Japan Medical Association a reduction in the rate of health insurance. In the coming conference of practitioners in the northeastern provinces, one of the subjects for discussion is to be a resolution to the government that medical fees should be paid to them in full, with the assistance of the government, in recognition of their daily risking their lives for the welfare of the nation.

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