Japan's hospitals scramble to secure doctors during 10-day Golden Week
Japan Times -- Apr 28
Hospitals have been scrambling to secure enough doctors during the unprecedented Golden Week holiday period that began Saturday, which was extended to 10 days to accommodate the Imperial succession.

By hiring doctors to work temporarily, many medical institutions have sought to give their regular physicians days off as the medical sector, along with other industries, aims to change the notorious culture of long work hours. However, some hospitals in rural areas have given up plans for temporary recruitment and are asking their own doctors to work longer instead.

M. Stage Co., a medical personnel resource service company based in Tokyo, said that as of April 22 it had received 4,538 requests to dispatch doctors between April 27 and May 6, about 800 more than what it received during last year’s Golden Week period.

While medical institutions usually seek doctors who can attend to inpatients during the holiday period, there is more demand this year for those who can see outpatients, according to the company.

“Many medical institutions have secured personnel well ahead of the holidays, but those that are still short have decided to offer higher pay,” said an M. Stage official.

Japan enacted a law to have one-off public holidays that will stretch the length of Golden Week this year. The government hopes that the added holidays will help the nation celebrate the enthronement of Crown Prince Naruhito on May 1, following the abdication of his father, Emperor Akihito, the previous day, and serve as a way to address the country’s long work hours.

News source: Japan Times
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