• SHARE

Five articles touching on issues surrounding Japan’s health system — and the coronavirus pandemic barely gets a mention:

  • Any illness is stressful, and if you are unlucky enough to develop something rare and life-threatening while abroad, differences in language, health care systems and treatment can only compound the anxiety. That was the case for Nagoya-based Niall Breathnach. In 2015 he developed an infection that wouldn’t clear up and, by the end of the year, things had gotten worse, writes Iain Maloney.
  • Two doctors were indicted Tuesday on a charge of negligence resulting in the death of a 2-year-old boy at a Tokyo hospital in 2014 due to excessive use of a sedative. The toddler received propofol equivalent to 2.7 times the level appropriate for an adult over about 70 hours, and died three days later, apparently due to a side effect of the treatment.
Asuka Someya (left) heads a civil society group working to promote over-the-counter sales of morning-after pills. | KYODO
Asuka Someya (left) heads a civil society group working to promote over-the-counter sales of morning-after pills. | KYODO
  • Japan is considering approving over-the-counter sales of morning-after pills as the number of unwanted pregnancies among young people rises amid the pandemic, and out of consideration for victims of sexual assault. The government is leaning toward allowing sales of the pills without prescriptions as part of its basic plan on promoting gender equality.
  • The government aims to abolish the cap on income to make it easier for all couples to receive subsidies for fertility treatment as Japan faces a declining birth rate. Currently, a couple’s combined annual income must fall below the cap of ¥7.3 million ($70,000) in order to qualify for subsidies.
  • Twenty years after it was born out of a merger as part of a sweeping reorganization of government, the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry is facing calls for a split as it creaks under the weight of the coronavirus crisis. The ministry has seen more than its share of problems and scandals, including over key labor statistics, and it covers a wider range of areas than other agencies.

PHOTO GALLERY (CLICK TO ENLARGE)