Japan is facing a shortage of hospital beds as a result of rising COVID-19 infections and it is now beginning to turn into a full-on healthcare crisis.
Medical facilities in Japan are struggling to admit patients infected with COVID-19 throughout the year-end and New Year’s holiday period. At Tokyo Medical and Dental University Medical Hospital more than twice as many staff members have been on duty during the festive period, but the beds made available for COVID-19 infected patients are nearly full.
“There are also many patients suspected to have been infected,” an official of the hospital told Japan News. “The current situation is severe.”
Kan Kikuchi, head of the Housaikai medical group who chairs the joint committee of three organizations, including the Japanese Association of Dialysis Physicians, has provided an even more harrowing analysis of the situation.
“It’s like we’re walking a tightrope,” he said. “The collapse of the medical system could be said to be occurring. It’s not easy to increase the number of hospital beds. There is no way to improve the current situation except to prevent the number of infected people from increasing.”
occupancy of hospital beds that could be available at the time of peak infections reached 37% nationwide, while the bed occupancy for seriously ill patients was 26.1%.
In Japan, the shortage of hospital beds is particularly concerning, considering the country’s large elderly population who are particularly vulnerable to COVID-19.
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