Medical Businesses in Japan Struggle to Stay Open
In Japan, many small medical centers are at risk of going out of business as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Even as the government eases COVID-19 restrictions, people continue to avoid the clinics in fear they might catch the disease there.
Now clinic owners are asking the government for help.
Toshihiko Yamazaki operates a clinic in the city of Urawa, north of Tokyo. He said clinics in the residential and office areas seem to be having a difficult time.
"Even if the state of emergency is lifted, patients won't be able to return as long as there is a risk of infection," he said.
Yamazaki has seven employees. His clinic has gotten through the crisis better than most because it is close to a major train station. Still, in April, revenue was down 17 percent.
Japan had about 16,600 coronavirus infections and around 850 deaths. It has mostly contained the virus without heavy restrictions on travel and business.
Citizens mostly have obeyed the government's call for an 80 percent cut to social interactions. Clinic visits for usual health care have decreased, as a result.
An industry organization, the Tokyo Medical Practitioner Association, surveyed 1,200 clinics in the capital. It says more than 90 percent of them suffered revenue loss in April.
The Japan Federation of Insurance Medical Associations carried out a similar survey nationwide. It found that more than 80 percent of 2,900 clinics also saw revenue loss in April.
Some of the business went to the internet, where doctors can provide telehealth services. But most doctors get only about half as much money as they would receive for in-person visits.
Experts also predict a decrease of about $4.6 billion in hospital revenues this year. Teaching hospitals have asked the government for financial aid.
And, medical and hospital groups are urging Japan's health ministry to re-direct aid for community health programs to small medical centers.
Health ministry official Kazuho Taguchi said the ministry was taking the issue seriously. Non-virus services must be continued, he added, saying the ministry was holding hearings on ways to deal with the problem of fewer patients.
Toshio Nakagawa is vice president of the Japan Medical Association. He points out that as revenue decreases, doctors may reconsider plans to buy equipment and hire workers. That, he says, could lead to a drop "in the quality of medical care."
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4.medical care 医疗服务
For the homeless, private medical care is simply out of the question
5.Teaching hospitals have asked the government for financial aid.
financial aid 财政援助
He gave a long account of his troubles, with the implication that he needed financial aid.
We are moving ahead with plans to send financial aid
6.The Japan Federation of Insurance Medical Associations carried out a similar survey nationwide.
carried out 实施
Two independent studies have been carried out.
Forensic experts carried out a painstaking search of the debris.
在日本，由于冠状病毒危机，许多小型医疗中心面临倒闭的风险 。尽管政府放松了对新冠肺炎的限制措施，但人们仍然不愿去诊所，担心就诊时会感染新冠病毒 。
山崎俊彦(Toshihiko Yamazaki)在东京北部的浦川市经营一家诊所 。他表示，位于居民区和办公区的诊所似乎经营困难 。
山崎雇了七名员工 。在这场危机中，他的诊所比大多数诊所都好过，因为其靠近一个主要火车站 。尽管如此，该诊所4月份的收入还是下降了17% 。
日本的冠状病毒感染人数约有16600人，死亡850人 。该国已经基本控制住了疫情，也没有对旅行和商业活动施加严格的限制 。
大多数市民也都遵循政府的要求，减少了80%的社交活动 。因此，为日常保健而去诊所的人数减少了 。
东京都执业医师协会(Tokyo Medical physician Association)对东京的1200家诊所进行了调查 。该协会表示，其中超过90%的诊所4月份收入遭受了损失 。
日本保险医学会联合会在全国进行了类似的调查 。调查发现，在2900家诊所中，超过80%的诊所在4月份也出现了收入受损的情况 。
一些诊所开始把业务转向互联网，医生可以在线提供远程医疗服务 。但是，大多数医生获得的收入只有面诊病人时的一半 。
专家还预测，今年医院收入将减少约46亿美元 。教学医院已经向政府申请经济援助 。
日本厚生省官员Kazuho Taguchi表示，厚生省正在严肃对待这一问题 。他补充说，必须要继续提供非病毒类的医疗服务 。他说，卫生部正在就如何解决患者人数减少的问题举行听证会 。
中川俊夫（Toshio Nakagawa）是日本医学协会的副会长 。他指出，随着收入下降，医生可能会重新考虑购买设备和雇佣员工的计划 。他指出，这可能会导致“医疗质量的下降” 。