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Some 30 percent of private hospitals in Japan are losing money, according to a one-month survey conducted by the national hospital association.

The survey shows that 28 percent of the hospitals ran up more expenses than revenues while providing medical services in May.

The worst segment seems to have been relatively small hospitals in the Tokyo metropolitan area. the survey said.

The All Japan Hospital Association blamed the poor economy and lower health-care fees. The number of outpatients has declined by an average of 5.7 percent from a year earlier. Due to this and other factors, the gap between expenditures and revenues has grown by 2.7 percentage points, it said.

But the National Federation of Health Insurance Societies, an umbrella organization of health insurance cooperatives that pay health-care fees to hospitals, questioned the significance of the survey.

“I wonder if it’s proper to ask for an increase in medical-treatment fees just because a survey covering one month showed the imbalance in revenues and expenditures has worsened,” federation Vice Chairman Takeshi Shimomura said.

The survey covered 500 randomly selected private hospitals that were asked to reveal their ratios for expenses to revenues.

Valid responses were obtained from 47.6 percent of the group.

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