About 20% of doctors in Japan are believed to be working overtime for more than 960 hours a year, equivalent to the 80-hours-per-month threshold for being at risk of death from overwork, a survey by a health ministry research team has found.

In the survey, conducted in July 2022, responses were collected from 19,879 doctors at 5,424 hospitals across the country. Of them, weekly working conditions for 11,466 full-time doctors were analyzed.

The survey showed that 20.4% of the full-time doctors worked over 60 hours per week, exceeding the weekly legal working hours of 40 hours to put estimated overtime at over 960 hours per year.