Medical clinic opens in evacuated Fukushima town of Tomioka

A municipal medical clinic got off to a busy start in the wholly evacuated town of Tomioka in Fukushima Prefecture on Oct. 1. It marked a step forward in the medical phase of the town’s rebirth after all residents were evacuated following the 2011 nuclear accident at Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima Daiichi plant. Tomioka, located south of the crippled nuclear power station, has started temporary preparatory stays in a bid to have the central government’s evacuation order lifted as soon as next April The Tomioka Clinic is headed by Satoshi Imamura, who operated Imamura Hospital in the town before the nuclear disaster. The 61-year-old physician was busy treating patients from the outset, including emergency cases brought to the clinic one after another. Kazuya Saito, 57, and his mother Sachiko , 86, visited the clinic at the start of medical examination. Both are staying at their evacuated home under a program permitting temporary lodging to pave the way for permanent returns. “At long last, I was able to consult Dr. Imamura,” said Kazuya with a look of relief, who is unemployed. “Now I feel reassured.” “I felt nostalgic to have been able to see patients I used to treat,” Imamura said. “I expect to make the clinic a medical institution which local residents can rely on.” Areas of treatment at the clinic are internal medicine, surgery and psychiatry. It is currently open for three days a week -- Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It will be open for five days a week, from Tuesday through Saturday, from April next year. Business hours are from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 1:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. For inquiries, call 0240-22-6522. (Translated by Kyodo News)