JMA Disaster Headquarters Status Reports

20:30, March 23, 2011

Press Conference
The JMA held a regular press conference at 2:00 pm on March 23, and reported its disaster relief efforts from the time the disaster struck up to the present. The report included the current situation in which a Disaster Countermeasures Headquarters has been formed and JMATs dispatched. It also included future plans, including plans to continuously travel around to evacuation centers to examine and treat patients and recommendations to have psychiatrists join JMATs in response to an offer from the Japanese Association of Psychiatric Hospitals.

The transport of 8-ton truckloads of drugs carried out on March 19 was also reported. The supply of drugs provided for free by the Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association was equivalent to more than 600 million yen worth at the drug price in the NHI scheme.

The JMA also pointed out things to keep in mind regarding insurance-covered medical care in the disaster-affected area based on the Disaster Relief Act. Survivors will be able to defer their co-payment until May. Medical institutions will not collect the co-payment but bill 100% to the insurers.

Flight Service for JMAT
Free flight service is available for JMAT participants dispatched from any area in Japan to the disaster area in cooperation with All Nippon Airways (ANA) and Japan Airlines Corporation (JAL).

Postmortem Examinations
Thus far 45 doctors from the JMA are currently or have finished participating in postmortem examinations. Also, 100 doctors are standing by for requests to participate. At present, action cannot be taken unless a team includes a police officer and dentist, and so doctors are asked to remain on standby until called.

JMAT participation and activities has increased; as of 17:00 today 88 teams are in action and 71 teams are preparing to be dispatched. From here on psychiatrists, dentists, pharmacists, and other professionals will join JMATs, and their activities will be broadened at evacuation centers and first aid stations in an effort to maintain the health of evacuees.

Production of Thyradin-S Tablets, Thyradin-S Powder, and Thyradin Powder has stopped, since a factory in Iwaki City of Aska Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd., was damaged. Supplies of these drugs are therefore expected to run short. Please restrain from long-term prescription and consider fractioned dispensing. In the Kanto region other drugs besides Thyradin are also seen to be running in short supply, and so medical institutions are being seen voluntarily canceling long-term prescriptions.

Triage Card
JMATs that have actually used the Evacuation Center Triage Cards have reported that they are a useful tool for ongoing visits to evacuation sites for examining and treating patients, and recommend their continued and wider use. The cards are available from prefectural medical associations in afflicted prefectures.

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