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Concerns mount over possible collapse of Japan's medical system

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but yet Akita Basketball is coming to Okinawa next month and my girlfriend wants to get tickets.

and people will be packed in the new arena for the sake of making money. People everywhere, also driving the other night and saw the nightclubs in full swing. Partying like it was 1999

34 ( +38 / -4 )

Suga is kinda right. Youth are fearless. Nations impose fines and lock down and still get massive riots and protest. Even the US is now topping 100k infection rate numbers. The way i see it, the only option is just to accelerate the vaccination rate and just keep going and ignoring the casualties. If they want to party then let them. Is their own fault if they wishes to get infected. In 2-3 month, this whole vaccination process would be finish anyway.

I do not recommend more lock down. The economy has only recently show slight improvement. Restrict them and what you get is just tightening the rope around the neck of many people that are already financially strain.

-19 ( +18 / -37 )

I would fear for my life only if over 65.

I would fear hospitalization for any illness/injury if over 65 too.

That's only about 28% of the population...

-32 ( +11 / -43 )

After this is over or at least subsides, the govt will need to socialize the healthcare system, like the one in the UK. Japan's disjointed, mostly private, institutions have shown themselves incapable of dealing with a national crisis.

31 ( +41 / -10 )

The medical system has collapsed - when you have thousands of people forced to suffer at home instead of being in a hospital, and ambulances taking 6 hours to find a hospital for a single patient, the system has already collapsed. There are too many private hospitals/clinics in Japan that can pick and chose who they accept, and not enough public hospitals.

43 ( +48 / -5 )

When they "concern" and "possible" it definitely looks worse!

Just the usual Japanese polite way to describe an upcoming disaster!

13 ( +16 / -3 )

Concerns over possible collapse of Japan's medical system mount

Shouldn’t this read?

Concerns over possible collapse of Tokyo’s medical system mount.

-18 ( +6 / -24 )

If patients cannot call 911(Is it 119 in Japan) to check into a hospital and must wait, then that medical system has already collapsed.

30 ( +39 / -9 )

As usual, Japan had time to prepare after it saw what happened in Jakarta, but they squandered all their time and resources for the olympics. Now, 'rona is coming around to collect and Suga and company are a day late and a dollar short...

32 ( +38 / -6 )

Agree with JeffLee and nonu6976, there is no excuse for the healthcare system to have collapsed in the way it has except the greed and selfishness of the private healthcare providers and the inept inadequacy of the government in not getting a firm grip on both the healthcare situation and the measures to control the virus spread.

The only solution going forward is a comprehensive integrated National health system. There are enough systems around the world to learn from and adapt to Japan, it’s not as if Japan hasn’t done this sort of thing before, or have they lost the flexibility and adaptability of the Meiji period?

Privatised health is a recipe for disaster.

23 ( +28 / -5 )

I would fear for my life only if over 65.

Yeah, an unvaccinated 64 year old has absolutely nothing to fear with catching this virus...

What about next year?

21 ( +28 / -7 )

The problem is not the health system, the real problem is the stubborn and silly people who do not take care of themselves to prevent infections, if everyone followed science, use a mask, avoid crowds, use common sense and while they wait for their vaccination, infections would be very few..

Science rules !!..

-30 ( +9 / -39 )

'Dunno. Got my two jabs at a private clinic in Kumamoto. Had to wait about 30 minutes each time - the tiny reception area was packed - but they were free, and now I'm done with it. I still wear a mask and avoid crowded places (except the friggin' train). Just follow these guidelines, folks. It's all you can do, and it's not rocket science.

8 ( +13 / -5 )

With the virus spreading rapidly and showing no signs of abating, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to hold talks with relevant ministers next week

Why rush into having meetings next week? It’s not like this needs sorting out as an immediate priority.

20 ( +24 / -4 )

Concerns mount over possible collapse of Japan's medical system

already corrupted.

un-hospitalizable patients who were forced to stay at home have been victimized one after another.

18 ( +20 / -2 )

 it is the greatest responsibility of the government to protect the lives of the people

Forgot to add 'now the Olympics are over'

11 ( +14 / -3 )

The third largest economy in the world and the govt did not do anything to build additional capacity all along knowing this was bound to happen - dont know how its not criminal when residents dont get a hospital bed when required in such place

20 ( +22 / -2 )

Mass, free and easy testing will allow those who test positive with minor symptoms to isolate and stop the spread.

Hopefully if people behave responsibly and are compensated for loss of income, etc the number of serious cases will then decline and the health system will not collapse.

But no, its almost impossible to get a test, so the spread goes on

16 ( +18 / -2 )

They were prioritizing the Olympics rather than focusing on measures to control the outbreak and now they are paying the price for it. Possible collapse is totally wrong as others have mentioned above that the medical system has already collapsed! What is more worrisome is that the worst is yet to come!

21 ( +22 / -1 )

The problem is not the health system, the real problem is the stubborn and silly people who do not take care of themselves to prevent infections, if everyone followed science, use a mask, avoid crowds, use common sense and while they wait for their vaccination, infections would be very few..

Science rules !!..

The problem is not the health system, the real problem is the stubborn and silly people who did not take care of the nation to prevent infections, and went ahead and held the Olympics and are now STILL going to hold the Para Olympics.

if everyone followed science, avoided crowds, used common sense (which means NOT holding the Olympics and Para Olympics) while they wait for their vaccination, infections would be very few..

Science rules !! Exactly! So please listen to the doctors association when they urge the gov to NOT hold the games!

There fixed it for you.

10 ( +17 / -7 )

""Suga, who called on the public to avoid traveling over the summer holidays, pledged to work with local governments to establish a system under which people recuperating at home can be contacted.""

WOW, Always reactive NEVER proactive, just early this week it was reported that 84 people died at home while recuperating after being REJECTED by the medical system and Mr. Suga polices, some died in ONE day most in 9 days, some were even vaccinated. how sad and depressing when you see law abiding citizens die due to uneducated poor decisions and policies by this leadership.

16 ( +18 / -2 )

What in God's name!!! It's been 18 months! Even the British government managed to build a hospital in a month or so last summer (which they tore down in another month because no-one used it but that's another story) ang they've exhibited some of the best examples of incompetency of all. Japan is usually streets ahead in terms of organisation. The numbers are about a quarter of those of the UK, which is supposedly "winning the war".......... Try to pull the wool away from your eyes....

8 ( +13 / -5 )

If only the medical system had been warning him and other politicians for MONTHS, if not more than a year, about this very thing, while they prioritized the Olympics and avoid stricter measures against Covid. Hmmmm...

12 ( +18 / -6 )

Japan is usually streets ahead in terms of organisation

given 100 years to organise something this may be true

14 ( +15 / -1 )

I wonder if it's this, rather than the Olympics and the relatively slow vaccine rollout, which could hurt the LDP.

I read somewhere that the Japanese go to the doctor several times more per year than people from other countries. I don't recall the exact figure, but it wasn't a trivial number.

I've even heard it said that some older people go to the doctor as it's a kind of social club; they know their friends will be there. Few years ago I had to go to a local clinic a few times to get a minor issue sorted out, and even when I arrived right on opening time, the waiting room was already completely full, mainly with the elderly.

Logically, it's the elderly who would need to visit a clinic or hospital the most. And statistically, it's the elderly who provide the LDP with a large chunk of their votes.

Course inertia is a tough thing to overcome, so even a stressed medical system might not be enough to make the people realise that they're getting hosed by the people they keep voting in.

9 ( +12 / -3 )

this article is identical to the ones written when japan hit 100, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000 ,8000, 9000 ,10000, 11,000, 12,000 ,13000 ,14,000 ,15,000, 20,000

after a year and a half of unfounded hysterics no wonder most people have given up listening

-9 ( +7 / -16 )

this article is identical to the ones written when japan hit 100, 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000, 6000, 7000 ,8000, 9000 ,10000, 11,000, 12,000 ,13000 ,14,000 ,15,000, 20,000

Not identical. The medical system in the capital city of the worlds 3rd largest economy is on the brink of collapse.

4 ( +11 / -7 )

Suga is set to hold talks with relevant ministers next week on expanding the state of emergency

I guess there’s no need to rush in an emergency.

Here’s some ideas for you Suga, first, turn some olympic venues into field hospitals. Two, make sure someone is securing plenty of oxygen. Three, hang your head in shame for being an utterly useless “leader”.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

There will be no collapse.Japan has more than enough hospitals.It's a question of prising them open because they don't want Covid patients.No money in them and they don't want their staff to catch it.No more,no less.

14 ( +15 / -1 )

What good are only "concerns", "urges" etc without any actual actions and decisions?

While the medical experts continue to shout that medical collapse is imminent we have - Disney still open, we have Fuji Rock Festival happening next weekend, we have Awa Odori matsuri right now (Aug 12 - Aug 15) happening in Tokushima (justification from city officials to hold Awa Odori matsuri - "to pass down traditional culture to next generation"

Why is no one taking a stance and cancelling these events? Crying foul and wondering/complaining post facto why the numbers are increasing day by day does not help anyone right?

Oh I forgot, this is Japan - the place which takes the first place in burying their neck in sand to ignore the ground reality

No wonder the things are the way they are presently - sad thing is all medical experts are saying that this is not yet the peak and worse news/updates are going to come in coming days!!!!

8 ( +12 / -4 )

Don’t call 119 for an ambulance. Call a taxi company and go to the nearest private hospital.

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

Soon your widespread concept of vaccination hopes and ‘live with the virus’ paroles is ripe for the shredder. And I told you so.

-8 ( +2 / -10 )

Past caring anymore

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Some version of this article has been running for over a year, now...

10 ( +10 / -0 )

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to hold talks with relevant ministers next week on expanding the state of emergency beyond Tokyo and other prefectures where it is currently in place, 

And this bold measure will result in what - nothing else except for the hundredth time the eateries being forced to close at 8 ensuring more people cram in before closing time. All the while trains, supermarkets, shopping centres, cafes etc continue to be chock a block full. If you can not come up with anything else after 18 months make way for someone who can.

I believe that the medical system in Tokyo is in a dire situation. Under such circumstances, it is the greatest responsibility of the government to protect the lives of the people," Suga said at a press conference Friday.

You have displayed zero commitment to " protecting the lives of the people" wanker, nothing but empty pledges that are never kept. Resign already.

9 ( +11 / -2 )

I would fear for my life only if over 65.

I would fear hospitalization for any illness/injury if over 65 too.

That's only about 28% of the population...

Nice of you to let us know that you don't care about 28% of the population. The whole point of getting vaccinated and taking precautions if to protect those people. It's a shame that there are still a lot of folks too selfish and/or stupid to understand that.

5 ( +10 / -5 )

Enough of this bad news - please, just remember we had the greatest, best ever Olympics when you feel down reading this sort of news.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Does anyone know what % of the population is fully vaccinated?

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

Enough of this bad news - please, just remember we had the greatest, best ever Olympics when you feel down reading this sort of news

That actually make it worst lol: these were the saddest and lamest Olympics ever.

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Enough of this bad news - please, just remember we had the greatest, best ever Olympics when you feel down reading this sort of news.

Exactly! The wonderful athletes from scary gaikoku and our own athletes brightened the faces of the innocent children and showed the world the power of love! We can all be international friends (except with the Chinese because they got more golds than we did and Koreans because, well, we just don't like them) and coexist under a permanent rainbow.

Cornelius? Who? There has never been such a person. You are slandering Japan.

And this is all thanks to the glorious leadership of the Liberal Democratic Party! Hail to the Liberal Democratic Party!

10 ( +13 / -3 )

Ultimately, this is what china was going for.

0 ( +4 / -4 )

It has already collapsed.

5 ( +9 / -4 )

Maybe they could mandate working from home? And, actually pressure companies to follow through.

Work from home would eventually allow people to move out of the cities and repopulate the countryside. This would be good for Japan for the future.

Might more clearly define essential workers and allow them to travel to work. Maybe through Passmo or Suica? Reduce unnecessary travel by restricting access to trains for others.

Online schooling should be used. And continued after the pandemic.

Cancel Fuji Rock. How absurd this is still going forward.

6 ( +9 / -3 )

The problem is not the health system, the real problem is the stubborn and silly people who do not take care of themselves to prevent infections, if everyone followed science, use a mask, avoid crowds.... infections would be very few..

Please do enlighten us and all the salaryman Taro,s out there how to avoid crowds when the J companies, ( national government included ) expect them to get into the packed trains and into the packed offices each and every day.

8 ( +10 / -2 )

Not identical. The medical system in the capital city of the worlds 3rd largest economy is on the brink of collapse.

Highly doubt they'd be waiting until next week for meetings if this were true. Tokyo has all the medical resources it needs. They just need to use them.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Welcome in the third world !

Stop waisting money and build up public hospitals!

9 ( +9 / -0 )

Marcelito, it’s not about the salarymen, it’s about the partying&shopping youths. Majority of the current covid cases are in their 20’s and 30’s, and I see flocks of carefree young ones literally everywhere here in Tokyo (on my solo walks/during commute). It’s almost always groups of people, and way too often there either are no masks or the masks are on the chin, especially while they slurp their SB frappucinos and take selfies. Unis and schools are currently on holidays: and without any real restrictions it shows also in the covid stats.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Come on Japan clearly you can do better, learn what TRIAGE is for starters!!

As for beds, the land of futons should be able to get make shift beds ready pretty easily....

As others have said covid has REALLY shown the weakness of public\private health care, clearly it cannot handle emergency large scale anything!

7 ( +8 / -1 )

There are 8,300 hospitals but only 619 are public ones. Need a program to greatly increase the number of public ones since most private ones won't take covid patients.

Lack of doctors and nurses is a very serious problem.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

Build hospitals & stop closing ICU instead of funnelling our tax money to bigPharma& co.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Don’t call 119 for an ambulance. Call a taxi company and go to the nearest private hospital.

And make the taxi driver sick and all of his customers?

5 ( +6 / -1 )

folks. It's all you can do, and it's not rocket science.

It kind of is, that is why so many people in the world don't want the vaccine.

-3 ( +2 / -5 )

The two reasons for the current Delta spike here in Tokyo: the slow rollout of vaccinations and premature relaxation of restrictions.

NYC, with a population of 8 million has over 1600 ICU beds. Tokyo prefecture, with almost twice the population at 14 million people, has only 800 ICU hospital beds. That is insane.

On all three counts, the Japanese government has failed.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

bo

Mass, free and easy testing will allow those who test positive with minor symptoms to isolate and stop the spread.

Agree. They should institute regular rapid testing instead of these stupid PCR tests that are pretty much meaningless for population evaluation.

1 ( +6 / -5 )

One of these measures is the institution of the mask that each unvaccinated person must wear. We wanted to make them visible as unvaccinated, particularly if they made even the least attempt to harm the community. It is a remarkably humane measure on our part, a hygienic and prophylactic measure to be sure that the unvaccinated cannot infiltrate our ranks unseen to sow discord.

-9 ( +0 / -9 )

Number of people hospitalized with severe symptoms: 292 (two hundred ninety two)

Number of daily death from the virus for the last few days: 2 (two)

Source: Tokyo government

And this in a metropolis of 20 million.

Apparently, we must panic.

-6 ( +8 / -14 )

Is it mid 2020 already? This is new news?

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Maybe we need a "Darwin passport" for people going out at night and partying. "Please don't bother treating me if I get sick. Please call my lawyer and sue me if you get sick."

4 ( +7 / -3 )

Family member had emergency need of a hospital; ambulance drivers called then I recalled a friend of a friend who worked at a nice hospital. Ambulance called that hospital and we got in. If not for the connection who knows where we would’ve ended up.

That is a failed system.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

As the headline suggests, something tells me politicians are going to be more concerned about whether the situation is worthy of the word "collapse", i.e., how the situation is reported, not how much hospitals are struggling or how many people are unable to find a hospital that will accept them.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Concerns mount over possible collapse of Japan's medical system

What "system"?

It's a hodge podge of a bazillion tiny private hospitals and clinics that are allowed to turn away ER/A&E patients at will.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

With the virus spreading rapidly and showing no signs of abating, Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is set to hold talks with relevant ministers next week

After which will be a ‘huge’ steak dinner courtesy of the tax-payers of Japan.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

If it is a problem with the medical system, then have the Cabinet propose legislation focused on the medical system - forcing placement of patients in private hospitals and/or compelling the doctors who work at those facilities to serve turns in temporary government-run surge facilities.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Suga, who called on the public to avoid traveling over the summer holidays,

LOL! I'm reading this while on a trip to a far away prefecture and I'm not alone, the place is packed with cars with plates from all over Japan. People don't care anymore!

2 ( +4 / -2 )

As I read these articles and the comments, the viscosity of hypocrisy causes me to scratch my head.

Now, governments are definitely not without fault, they’ve had more than ample time to access this and enact effective measures, but in Japans case, government continues to throw the same preverbal feces at the wall and hope it sticks while the pile continues to grow.

That said, many of the people chastising the government are the very ones that feel they are above containment measures themselves.

If you are not doing your job as an individual citizen to slow the spread of this virus, you are just as much as fault as the government if not more so. Yep, I said it, if you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.

Quit expecting the government to solve your problems if you are not willing to make small inconvenient sacrifices in your own life for the better of everyone else.

Getting on the other side of this will truly the largest global team effort humanity has ever seen on an individual level. Good luck with that.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

The glib way they bandy about the hyperbolic word ‘collapse’ is trite in the extreme. There is no comparison between what we’re seeing now and say Hiroshima’s medical situation after the bomb.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Calm down. Panic and melodramatic headlines help nobody.

Don't take anyone into hospital unless they need to be there, and don't imprison them in hotels either - you will just concentrate infection and may increase the chances of new variants. The RotW allows people with non-severe symptoms to stay at home with checks. People may be avoiding early stage care because they do not want to be imprisoned in hotels.

Set up some MASH style care in any large buildings. You will require fewer nurses and doctors to monitor a larger number of people. Medical students can assist.

This spike will pass as the vaccination numbers increase.

It is happening because the JP govt. insisted on running their own tests on vaccines, delaying the roll out by months, and then decided that it didn't want to use Astra Zeneca. What you gained from reduced AZ side effects you will now lose in extra deaths.

But the vaccines are rolling out. Do the elderly and vulnerable first. Severe illness from Delta is manageable if enough people are vaccinated.

Then stop the huge moral panic about covid, consider it another virus we each have to deal with to protect ourselves, and move on, because this is taking government focus away from climate change mediation.

Each area/nation now knows what that means: fire, drought, flooding, mudslides. So get working on systems to protect people and agriculture from these events.

We do not have the time to languish over Covid. Climate change will kill far more people. Individuals need to take responsibility and protect themselves or live with the consequences, whilst the government support those who, for medical reasons, cannot be vaccinated and need to take additional precautions.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

I love the "don't panic" and "don't go to the hospital if you don't need to"

Who goes to the hospital during a pandemic for no reason?

Get real!

This weekend I couldn't find a hospital will to even look at me let alone let treat me.

Do to a previous illness my kidneys have problems, high fever extreme pain ( not uncommon in my case) not a single hospital would even consider seeing me.

My friend who is a doctor with one of the tiny hospitals that at the most does minor things like overnight stay for IV treatment for hydration and very minor surgery ( hangnails, etc..) took me in despite not having any of the equipment needed had I gotten any worse.

He called everyone he knew told very directly NO and I was not the only patient he was dealing with.

His is not an emergency hospital and only himself and 2 nurses.

The problem is all the emergency and larger hospitals are full not near full but full.

So The "don't panic" crowd might as well say "Don't get sick" because I guess these people can decide when they want to be sick and when they don't.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

JeffLeeAug. 14  07:00 am JST

After this is over or at least subsides, the govt will need to socialize the healthcare system, like the one in the UK. Japan's disjointed, mostly private, institutions have shown themselves incapable of dealing with a national crisis.

The USA needs to as well. As a military veteran I use the 'socialized medicine' service they have. It isn't perfect but it's good enough. Even something skeletal and basic like 'Obamacare' can make a world of difference. That has saved quite a number of lives.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

That's only about 28% of the population...

I know that Japanese and quite a few other foreigners have a lack of ability to detect irony, but that was obvious.

28% of 125 million inhabitants is to say the least 35 million persons.

And that threshold is just a theoretical standpoint, as also a minority below 65 will die but some be afftected by lasting effects.

I hope Japan will go through well enough but I am so confident as time flows.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Look up the Japanese expression 漱石枕流.

Who lost what? Except for the fully vaccinated people who have lost their lives to Covid?

-3 ( +3 / -6 )

Really?

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lanres/article/PIIS2213-2600(20)30402-1/fulltext

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(21)00191-4/fulltext

https://www.dw.com/en/is-sputnik-v-vaccine-safe/a-57219314

Perhaps even more important that all this is the safety of the vaccine. For people in a low risk demographic I feel this is very important.

Yes really, none of your sources present the raw data necessary for the approval of the vaccine in most countries, they only present their condensed data, which has been proved mistaken and with evidence of manipulation, which only makes the raw data more important to be presented.

https://www.clinicaltrialsarena.com/analysis/sputnik-v-controversy-still-no-raw-data/

Do you know what is important to evaluate safety? precisely this raw data, because it lets people identify negative outcomes that are rare enough to escape identification at first sight and that require a detailed comparison with the incidence rates with the population.

This is not possible with presenting only the results the manufacturers choose to present, and why the experts of the world are waiting for the actual scientific reports of other countries hoping they will actually make the raw data open as it should be.

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

expanding the state of emergency 

I don't think it means what you think it means

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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