A study report by the Cabinet Office says that Japan does not need to own a hospital ship and instead just use existing commercial or Japan Coast Guard ships to provide emergency medical care in case of disasters and emergencies. It will cost the government 140 to 350 million dollars to build and 9 to 25 million dollars to maintain.
A group of nonpartisan lawmakers “demanded” that Japan have its own hospital ship, especially after the severe damage suffered by medical facilities in northeastern coastal areas during the 2011 earthquake and tsunami disasters. However the study report clearly shows all the cost, effort and challenges it would take to purchase and maintain a hospital ship, including the acquisition and training of medical staff and personnel. The report recommends that instead of purchasing a hospital ship, the government should instead charter or renovate commercial and coast guard ships and install medical equipment on them. People with acute conditions should also be prioritized when being treated on these kinds of ships.
Even though Prime Minister Shinzo Abe seems to be favorable to the parliamentarians request for the hospital ship, the government will be making their recommendations and decision based on the study report. Japan first considered building a hospital ship after the 1995 Great Hanshin Earthquake but the operational and building costs made them put the idea on hold. Among the international superpowers that have their own hospital ships are the United States, China and Russia.
[ via Global Post ]
Comments Off on JDP Startup Corner: Pros & Cons of Working with a Partner in Japan