Rinsho Shinkeigaku (Clinical Neurology)

The 51st Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society of Neurology

How do we cure the medical divide between northern Tohoku district and Tokyo?

Hikoaki Fukaura, M.D.

Iwate Medical University, Neurology

What is required to provide high quality medical service to anybody, anytime and anywhere? We have investigated health care in neurology as provided by national health insurance in Aomori, Akita and Iwate prefectures compared to health care in Tokyo. We have conducted hearing surveillance to patients and doctors. Most of the patients have to drive to hospital for more than 100 kms as there is no licensed neurologist in their neighborhood and public transportation is poor. There are only a few medical facilities that can satisfy their needs even in prefectural cities. Neurologists who work alone at general hospitals face difficulties as they cannot consult with other neurologist about diagnosis and treatment and have rare opportunity to attend academic conferences. A licensed neurologist at northern Tohoku district has to be in charge of a half of Tokyo 23 districts area and twice as many people as Tokyo. We have concluded that medical divide due to the more or less of quantity of selection exists between northern Tohoku and Tokyo. How do we cure this medical divide? Creating a new framework of patients transporting system, increasing the number of doctors who work at general hospitals and opening satellite clinics at regional towns should be considered.
Full Text of this Article in Japanese PDF (399K)

(CLINICA NEUROL, 50: 1069|1072, 2010)
key words: medical divide, medical shortfall, northern Tohoku district, urban and rural areas, MS satellite clinic

(Received: 22-May-10)