JMA Disaster Headquarters Status Reports

15:00, March 20, 2011

The large supply of drugs sent by the JMA safely reached Iwate, Miyagi, and Fukushima by last night. This is several hundred million yen worth of drugs provided by the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association and the Aichi Medical Association. The JMA has heard from disaster-affected prefectures that although some supplies are insufficient and the quantity is only a temporary amount, it is a great help in a situation in which there were no drugs at all.

As of today, 35 JMATs are in action and 26 JMATs are preparing to be dispatched. The number of registrations decreased after the long weekend. However, life in evacuation centers will still continue, and so the JMA requests that each prefecture considers sending new teams.

Medical Services under Health Insurance
In a document sent out by the JMA on March 15 there are notes regarding medical services provided under health insurance and regarding prescriptions in disaster-affected areas. Please make sure these notes are known to relevant persons.

(1) When medical institutions authorized to treat patients with health insurance coverage have been completely or partially destroyed, "temporary medical institutions replacing the affected institutions will be allowed to accept insurance coverage if continuity with the affected institution is discernible from location proximity and the medical system used."

(2) Pharmacy service under health insurance is possible without the normal prescription form, in which case a written order indicating the physician's instructions can be accepted as a prescription. However, in cases where it is obvious that the location that accepted the issued prescriptions is not a medical institution authorized to treat patients with health insurance coverage (such as a first aid station or evacuation center), dispensing fees are to be billed to the municipality, pursuant to the Disaster Relief Act.

Triage Card
The JMA sent "Evacuation Site Triage Cards" devised for use by JMATs to medical associations in afflicted prefectures. These triage cards were created to enhance cooperation among JMATs and help ensure necessary medical care is provided. Please use them.

The presidents of medical associations in the Tohoku region including the disaster-affected prefectures, disaster response personnel, and full-time officers of the JMA are scheduled to exchange information via a teleconference in the afternoon of Tuesday, March 22.

Request from Fukushima Governor
On March 20, Fukushima Governor Sato, who is head of the Fukushima Disaster Response Headquarters, has sent an official written request to the JMA for special support "to strengthen medical care efforts for the elderly and other people with health concerns who are being forced to live in evacuation centers and to strengthen the medical care system, including the securing of doctors, so that core hospitals in the region can smoothly receive survivors and other patients as secondary medical institutions."

Local Information
Report from Iwate: It is a long weekend and so the offers from numerous JMATs are helpful. Gasoline started to arrive yesterday but it is still not enough. The drugs from JMA were a big help, but there is not enough of some medicines, and so we would like to gather more information and make a request for those medicines.

Report from Miyagi: Many JMATs (Nara, Hyogo, and Kagawa) are providing support. Infusion fluid arrived from Kagawa, which is helpful. The drugs from JMA arrived and so we have caught our breath, but we would like to request items that we do not have enough of.

Drugs also arrived in Fukushima, but there are still many areas where the drugs cannot get through, and so additional supplies are needed. The JMA will investigate today and consider what can be done.

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