Sign the petition to keep struggling pediatric and sick care in Covid-19!
Due to the Covid-19 crisis, pediatrics and sick childcare facilities are in financial difficulties, in this situation, there are concerns that they will be closed one after another within this year.
“I feel we must maintain existence of the pediatrics and sick childcare facilities that are important infrastructure in the childcare,” Mikako Ito, former chief editor of the free medical information paper “Genki no Moto” and mother of four children, is now campaigning for signatures to ask the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare for financial support for pediatrics and sick childcare services.
If you agree with this, sign the petition!
▼Signature Campaign “Pediatrics across the country in financial difficulty due to the Covid-19 crisis! We need financial support for pediatrics for the children of the future!
According to a survey of pediatric clinics at more than 400 facilities nationwide by the Japan Pediatric Medical Association, 90% of clinics saw a 30% or more decrease in the number of outpatients in May of this year compared to the same month last year, about 40% saw a 40% or more decrease, and nearly 10% saw a 60% or more decrease*.
The Japan Pediatric Association appeals for,
“Of all the clinics, this is the most affected, and even in August there are no signs of recovery. Some pediatric clinics have begun to close.”
“Most of the clinics that use sick childcare facilities have zero to a few patients per month, which is great news, but for those with sick childcare facilities, it has become a hindrance to their operations, making it difficult for them to continue operating…”
the plight of pediatric clinics and sick childcare facilities*.
As the manager of the Margaret Children’s Clinic (Yoyogi, Shibuya-ku), a clinic with a sick child care room, I feel this difficult situation firsthand, and together with Director Tanaka and the frontline staff, we have been working through a series of trials and errors on how to sustain the management of the clinic on a daily basis.
After the clinic opened in October 2017, the wisdom and ingenuity of our frontline staff helped us return to profitability within three months, and although there have been seasonal fluctuations since then, we have continued to grow at an ever-increasing rate.
The sick childcare room has had an average occupancy rate of 80% since opening. During busy months, we were taking care of more than 100 children. Every day, the rooms were booked up quickly and it was normal to have a large waiting list.
However, due to the Covid-19 crisis, we were in financial difficulties.
The number of patients at the clinic dropped sharply in March, to a level lower than when the clinic first opened.
The number of patients using the sick childcare room also dropped sharply with 19 patients using it in April and only 6 in May.
We started an online and telephone medical treatment at the clinic, but the number of patients never returned to normal. But we can’t say “please come !” to the patients, and shouldn’t say that.
The sick childcare room was only strengthened at the end of last year, believing that business would continue to be strong.
We never expected to fall into such a difficult situation.
▼ This graph shows the number of patients seen since it opened in October 2017 (excluding vaccines and health screenings).
【Let’s all seek financial support to keep our pediatric and sick childcare facilities running!】
The state of emergency has been lifted, nursery schools and schools have started, and daily life is slowly returning to normal. The number of patients in the clinics and the number of users of the childcare room is gradually increasing, but the situation is still far from the pre-Covid-19 level.
I think this situation is common to all pediatric clinics and sick childcare facilities in Japan.
At this rate, pediatric clinics and sick childcare facilities are likely to disappear from Japan.
Even if the Covid-19 subsides, if the number of pediatric clinics decreases, the health support for children in the community will not be as good as it could be. If the number of sick childcare facilities decreases, many parents will not be able to continue working with peace of mind.
To prevent a world like that from happening, we need to work together and ask everyone to sign a petition for the government to provide financial support for us!
*Japan Pediatricians Association, “Serious situation of pediatric clinics in Japan
https://www.jpa-web.org/dcms_media/other/%E3%81%84%E3%81%BE%E3%80%81%E5%85%A8%E5%9B%BD%E3%81%A7%E8%B5%B7%E3%81%93%E3%81%A3%E3%81%A 6%E3%81%84%E3%82%8B%E5%B0%8F%E5%85%90%E7%A7%91%E8%A8%BA%E7%99%82%E6%89%80%E7%B5%8C%E5%96%B6%E3%81%AE%E6%B7%B1%E5%88%BB%E3%81%AA%E7 %8A%B6%E6%B3%81.pdf
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