JMA Disaster Headquarters Status Reports

18:30, April 7, 2011

Mental Care
The Social Welfare and War Victims' Relief Bureau in the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW) is dispatching "Mental Care Teams" to the disaster areas based on Article 30 of the Disaster Countermeasure Basic Act. The JMA has received word that so far 26 teams have been in action and 12 teams are preparing to be dispatched (as of April 5). These teams were formed by calling on the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry and prefectural governments. They are mainly traveling around to evacuation centers and examining evacuees with mental disorders.

Concerns about mental care have started to appear with the prolongation of life in evacuation centers and other temporary arrangements. The JMA is also keeping in contact with the Japanese Association of Psychiatric Hospitals and other organizations to advance the provision of mental care. Additionally, PTSD and other conditions could arise among children in the disaster areas, and so countermeasures need to be taken.

At present 380 JMATs are in action (including those whose dispatch has been settled) and 212 JMATs are preparing to be dispatched. Requests from the three afflicted prefectures for JMAT operations from April forward will come in by today.

Relief Fund
The "JMA Tohoku Relief Fund―Japan Earthquake and Tsunami" has reached 119,169,496 yen (approx. USD 1,400,000), including donations from individuals (as of April 4). At present, donations have been received from six prefectural medical associations. If donations collected by other prefectural medical associations are remitted, this amount will increase further.

Loans for Installations and Maintenance
On March 15, the Welfare and Medical Service Agency established preferential treatment measures for loans to medical institutions and social welfare facilities that were damaged in the disaster. On April 1, it established new loans to finance installations and maintenance. This opens the way to loans for hospitals to purchase machines. The limit for machine purchases was raised by two-fold to 1.44 billion yen for hospitals and 50 million yen for clinics. See the Welfare and Medical Service Agency's website for details.

Disaster Relief Act
Prefectural governors determine whether to apply the Disaster Relief Act. It has been applied for all municipalities in Miyagi, Iwate, and Fukushima. Additionally it has been applied to: 1 city and 1 town in Aomori; 28 cities, 7 towns, and 2 villages in Ibaraki; 15 cities and towns in Tochigi; 6 cities, 1 ward, and 1 town in Chiba; and 47 municipalities in Tokyo for people who had difficulty returning home. It has also been applied to 1 village in Nagano and 2 cities and 1 town in Niigata following an earthquake with an epicenter in northern Nagano that struck on March 12. Secondary evacuations from the disaster areas are continuing, and doctors should take heed of disaster-associated patients in their area.

Claims for Remuneration for Nursing Care
On April 5, the Long-term Care Insurance and Planning Division in the MHLW's Health and Welfare Bureau for the Elderly issued an office memorandum regarding the handling of claims for remuneration for nursing care associated with the earthquake disaster. Accommodations will be made for special cases, such as records having been lost for services rendered on and before March 11.

Remuneration for nursing care for the period from November 2010 to January 2011 will be divided by 92 days as the calculation method for estimating the amount for the first 11 days of March. Further, if a provider cannot bill for nursing care services rendered on March 12 and later using the usual procedure, a claim may be made for an amount estimated by dividing the amount for the three-month period just mentioned by 92 days, multiplying that by 20 days, and then by a coefficient. This is method only applies to claims for March; there will be a separate memorandum regarding claims for April and May.

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