Hiroshima Univ. to ramp up medical help for Fukushima's Futaba region

Mitsuo Ochi, president of Hiroshima University, conferred with Fukushima Gov. Masao Uchibori at the latter's office in Fukushima city on Dec. 15 and pledged greater post-disaster medical support for the Futaba region in Fukushima Prefecture through the dispatch of doctors. The national university plans to launch full-scale assistance in the region, including home visits by doctors and support for local healthcare activities, early next year in partnership with Fukushima Medical University. Futaba comprises eight municipalities, including two towns hosting Tokyo Electric Power Co.'s Fukushima Daiichi plant crippled by the 2011 earthquake and ensuing tsunami. Uchibori asked Ochi for continued help to build healthcare infrastructure in the region, including the establishment of a planned regional medical center. In reply, Ochi indicated willingness to offer as much help as possible in the future. Shinichi Kikuchi, president of Fukushima Medical University who was present at the meeting, said he would appreciate if Hiroshima keeps providing support until after the completion of work to decommission the ruined plant. Also attending the gathering were Hiroshima University Vice President Kenji Kamiya, who doubles as executive director of the Radiation Medical Science Center for the Fukushima Health Management Survey at Fukushima Medical University; Koichi Tanigawa, vice president of Fukushima Medical University; and Hiroto Utsunomiya, Fukushima Medical University assistant professor seconded from Hiroshima University Hospital. Hiroshima University is set to support municipalities and medical institutions in the Futaba region, including by dispatching doctors to the Futaba Emergency General Medical Support Center at Fukushima Medical University, until a regional healthcare environment is firmly established. (Translated by Kyodo News)