• Kyodo

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Nearly half of the doctors working at hospitals nationwide are either in poor health or worried about their physical and mental condition due to long hours and stressful working conditions, a survey revealed Sunday.

A poll of 2,108 doctors across the country, conducted between June and October by a doctors’ labor union and other medical groups, found that 47 percent of respondents were either suffering various ailments or were concerned about their health.

As many as 71 percent said they feel stressed at work and some were taking medications to treat stress-induced symptoms, the survey showed. About 62 percent admitted they had recently considered quitting their jobs.

An official of the labor union said it has become common for doctors to work long hours and called for their working conditions to be improved by taking measures to increase their number.

Some 83 percent of those polled complained that their hospitals don’t have enough doctors, and 79 percent reported working full day shifts after finishing night duty.

Some respondents also cited visits outside their normal working hours by outpatients who do not require immediate medical attention, while others pointed out unreasonable demands by patients, according to the survey.

Improvements called for by the doctors surveyed included providing a day off following a night shift and establishing penalties in cases where they are not paid overtime.

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