Message from the President

Policy Address

Yoshitake YOKOKURA

Yoshitake YOKOKURA
President, Japan Medical Association

The current mission of the JMA is to build a strong professional organization that ensures the protection of the health and well-being of the public. As president of the Japan Medical Association, the largest professional organization representing physicians in Japan, I would like to briefly present the JMA's fundamental principles and our mission statement to clarify our purposes, goals, and ideals — not only to the JMA members, but also to the people of Japan.

I wish to particularly emphasize the importance of community healthcare and its enrichment, and I would like to underscore the fact that my focus has been, and always will be, on what should be done to protect and enhance the community healthcare system and how this should be done. Each community faces various issues in their different local situations. Integrating, analyzing, and reflecting these issues in national policies is a task entrusted to the JMA, and it is the president of the JMA who must play a leading role in this mission.

For the last 30 years or so, the Japanese Government has stated the need for healthcare reform and worked toward this objective. However, the past reforms of the government have proved to deteriorate rather than improve the Japanese health care system. A major reason for this is that the government's efforts have been occupied mostly by balancing and maintaining the national finances and did not fully take account of the different local healthcare environments.

It should be possible for the JMA to gather real opinions from the local medical associations, analyze what needs to be enriched or improved based on this information, and urge the government to realize reform plans in accordance with this analysis. We also need to ask the government to secure necessary and sufficient funding to achieve these reform plans. All this must be done in a speedy fashion, and I am constantly ready to take the lead in such efforts. This may be something that the JMA was previously lacking.

I will also continue to strengthen the JMA support for the disaster areas in their reconstruction and restoration activities following the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 2011 that are still in progress. I shall devote all my energy to creating an environment in which all Japanese citizens, including the disaster victims, can receive optimal health care.

The JMA is firmly determined to make the utmost effort to further improve health care in Japan and contribute to international activities through the WMA and CMAAO for the betterment of public health throughout the world.

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