• By The Financial District


An Osaka City hospital designated to treat COVID-19 patients is struggling to get by in its day-to-day operations after dozens of doctors and nurses quit their jobs, Yoshichika Yamanaka and Takefumi Horinouchi reported for Asahi Shimbun.

Osaka City Juso Hospital in Osaka’s Yodogawa Ward has asked authorities to send health care workers from other hospitals to help it survive the crisis.

Medical staffers have left the hospital after being forced to work long hours and in areas that are not their expertise. “Considering the psychological burden, we may not be able to prevent staff from leaving,” Yukio Nishiguchi, director of the Juso hospital, said. “I’m still worried if we can continue like this.” The general hospital with 18 specialties became the nation’s first COVID-19-designated facility on April 14, when Osaka Mayor Ichiro Matsui made the declaration. At that time, Japan was under a state of emergency to deal with the novel coronavirus pandemic, and the number of moderate COVID-19 cases was increasing.

Even hospitals equipped with ECMO lung bypass machines to treat those with severe symptoms were forced to accept those in moderate condition, making it harder for health officials to secure hospital beds for seriously-ill patients. Matsui designated the Juso hospital to treat moderate patients and play a role of “defense against a health care collapse.” From April 16, the hospital stopped taking in outpatients and first-time patients and performing operations. About 200 hospitalized patients were either released or transferred to other hospitals.