OSAKA — A local volunteer group advocating rights of people with mental disabilities told reporters here May 23 that the Osaka Prefectural Government has neglected charges that a hospital padded the size of its staff to get more money.

The claims are against Yamatogawa Hospital, a mental institute belonging to the Yasuda Hospital group. “We reported to the prefectural government about the padding of the numbers of doctors and nurses, informed by employees at the hospital, in 1993. But it didn’t take the necessary actions until last December. It was too late,” said Miyuki Yamamoto, director of the Osaka Human Rights Center of Mental Health in Kita Ward here.

The Yamatogawa Hospital, in Kashihara, Osaka Prefecture, and two other Yasuda group hospitals — Yasuda Hospital in Sumiyoshi Ward and Osaka Ensei Hospital in Higashi Sumiyoshi Ward — are suspected of padding employee numbers and consequently receiving excessive monetary rewards as nursing costs. The group videotaped the inside of the facility and delivered edited footage that the group claims shows the alleged padding of employee numbers to the local government and the Health and Welfare Ministry in 1993, Yamamoto said.

The group will demand that the prefectural government disclose information regarding the hospital to the public and file a criminal complaint against it for fraudulent practices, she said. “Without such information as the number of doctors and nurses at a clinic, people will feel insecure about being hospitalized,” Yamamoto said.

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