• Kamogawa, Chiba

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Regarding the Jan. 26 letter “Hospitals shouldn’t get breaks” (on the consumption tax and the electricity rate): My large hospital has no doctor’s parking lot and not a single Maserati can be found on our lot — lots of bicycles, though. After six years of expensive education and huge debt, physicians get paid about ¥4.2 million a year for the next two years of mandatory internship, working very long hours to hone their skills. This is often followed by a three- to five-year specialty residency in which salary starts at about ¥6 million a year, less than half of what a Maserati costs but a bit more than a C-Class Mercedes. Living in luxury? Hardly.

Nurses start at about ¥245,000 a month after graduation, working shifts, and get small annual raises. Clerical staff start lower. Hospital fees are fixed by the government — not on the free market. Air conditioning was off in all administrative areas in 2011 and salaries were capped, with some reduced.

Private hospitals are not-for-profit entities, yet they are subject to the corporate tax rates and consumption taxes.

Minimum-wage health care is not the answer. The anonymous writer of the letter should be careful of what he wishes for.

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.

john wocher

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