October 7 2022
TOKYO – The Japanese government adopted at a cabinet meeting on Friday bills partly aimed at obliging large hospitals in the country to keep providing medical services even if patients surge in times of epidemics.
The government aims to have the bills, including one to revise the infectious disease control law, enacted during the ongoing extraordinary session of the Diet, Japan’s parliament, which will run through Dec. 10. The government hopes to put most of the legislation into effect in April 2024.
Subject to the mandatory provision of medical care will be publicly-run medical institutions, so-called special functioning hospitals, which provide advanced medical care, and regional medical care support hospitals, which play central roles in regional medical care communities.
The government wants to prepare for future epidemics by asking all medical institutions in the country to cooperate in signing agreements with prefectural governments with regard to the provision of medical care.
Prefectural governments will draw up medical strategies, including on the number of hospital beds to be secured, and sign agreements with medical institutions, including private facilities, to make them promise to accept patients or take other responses in the event of an epidemic.