Around a fifth of the 133 nurses employed in a major hospital in Wajima, a city that suffered heavy damage in the New Year's Day earthquake in Ishikawa Prefecture, have decided to quit or are considering it, the hospital has said.

The potential exodus poses challenges for the hospital and three other institutions facing a similar situation in the northern Noto Peninsula's two towns and two cities, including Wajima, with health services already disrupted in the aftermath of the magnitude-7.6 quake.

The figures on the potential loss of 28 nurses, or 21% of the total, emerged in Wajima Municipal Hospital's workforce planning for fiscal 2024, which starts in April, after its nurses were surveyed on what would make them stay in their jobs.