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Japan's small clinics driven to brink as virus-wary patients stay home

By Izumi Nakagawa and Rocky Swift

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© Thomson Reuters 2020.

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That also means they used to visit clinics without serious problems.

14 ( +16 / -2 )

Many of these clinics are almost operating as “social centres” for the aged to meet up.

I hear that the big hospitals have also suffered huge drops in income from people staying away due to fears of the virus.

One thing I have noticed on my visits to A&E in Japan are the number of people who in my mine shouldn’t be there. Kids with grazed knees etc....

7 ( +8 / -1 )

Maybe now more people will realise they don't need to go to the clinic for every minor little thing... And also wake up to the long running scam of being advised unnecessary tests and procedures every time they walk through the door.

There's no need to have an x-ray, blood test, cat scan and two weeks of ultra low dose placebo medicine for a sniffle that you shouldn't have been there for in the first place.

7 ( +9 / -2 )

The same clinics that wouldn’t accept anyone with a barge pole showing even remote covid symptoms. A woman in my city was rejected by 4 clinics because she had lost her taste/ sense of smell...I thought that was why we have clinics and hospitals, to help people out with ailments and get them up and running again...

8 ( +10 / -2 )


While that may be true of many, I know some who have been avoiding clinics despite suffering physical injury that needs attention. One of the neighbors has been limping around for nearly a week after a fall, but refuses to go to a clinic out of fear of bringing home the virus to his children.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

You know the joke: Two obasan in the waiting room discussing why Mrs. Tanaka is absent. "I heard she's sick," says one.

10 ( +11 / -1 )

I know a couple of clinic owners. They rely heavily on asking patients to return in a couple of weeks just to check things are OK.

their businesses are seriously impacted.

the medium sized hospital my partner works for is at 60%. My part time job there is non existent for months.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

My doctor has been ripping me off with unnecessary ultrasounds almost weekly. Put a stop to that quick smart...

0 ( +2 / -2 )

It's hard to feel a lot of sympathy, given how these clinics thrive on wasting our taxes. I've never seen so many people to go the doctor for basically nothing wrong (common colds), and while they pay little, the clinic gets a fortune from the way the system is organized, particularly when they tell the people to repeat their visit the next week for follow-ups, additional prescriptions (no refills), etc. And then when push comes to shove and the country is desperate for beds and/or treatment, they close up shop or simply turn people away, refer people calling to somewhere else (but still demand a "consultation payment"), and then some. You could probably close the majority of clinics and it only create a small sense of insecurity among local residents, not create more health problems.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Most of these small clinics are run by quacks who haven't consulted a medical textbook in over thirty years or so.

-5 ( +1 / -6 )

Bungle.....Do you have any left? I’ll happily take those “wall bouncers off your hands!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I wonder if it would be possible for the clinics to change their systems - at least temporarily- from walk-ins to appointment only, taking in one or max two patients at a time. That would give the clinics the opportunity to disinfect the surfaces in the waiting room & doctor's office in between patients, and give the patients more assurance of safety, and as a very welcomed bonus: SOME PRIVACY.

One of the things I hate the most when going into these small clinics is that you need to declare your symptoms, measure your temperature, whatnot, in the waiting room, in front of all those people. Those are private matters, between me & the doc, and should be said and dealt with behind closed doors.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The clinics turned people away for fear of getting infected yet expect a to make money through government handout.

While medical personnels should be commendated for putting their lives on the line to fight this virus we shouldn't forget there are some who chickened out and where MIA.

It is just like a soldier refusing to go to the warfront because of the risk of getting kllled.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I imagine the situation is even worse for dental clinics.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

First thing every Japanese person does when they have the sniffles is take time off work run to the clinic and play hookie saying they have the flu and gives them reason to stay home and chillax. Just kidding, what i wanted to say was that there is no reason to go to the clinic for every little thing like a hypochondriac. But I also hear that the retired elderlies have nothing better to do than head to a hospital to prevent social isolation and talking to random clinic/hospital goers to releive bordom as well. The other issue is yes Japan is highly condense as we do not have a way to track where those infected people took a clinic trip to and you can expect perhaps that all clinics may run the risk of the CCP virus lurking on surfaces from all the previous visits. Better to stay away from the clinics. I have medical issue and I stopped going to my hospital for regular check ups just to avoid the slightest chance of catching the CCP virus especially when the chance of getting any medical help is slim. TOO Risky.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

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