Aiming to improved healthcare in remote areas

President  Masanobu Kawakami

Japan Association for
Development of
Community Medicine

Masanobu Kawakami

Under Japan's world-class universal health insurance system, all citizens of Japan should have equal access to medical care throughout the country. However, the reality is that many rural areas have become medical backwater due to the uneven distribution of medical resources, especially physicians. In order to solve this serious problem, Jichi Medical University was established in 1972, and currently more than 4,700 graduates have contributed to local medical care in their home prefectures. However, there are still many prefectures in remote areas suffering from a serious shortage of doctors.
In view of this situation, in 1986, Japan Association for Development of Community Medicine was established by graduates of Jichi Medical University, with the support of their alma mater and the then Ministry of Home Affairs, with the aim of providing high quality medical care in remote areas of Japan. Since then, these graduates and other like-minded doctors have been continuing efforts to help eliminate doctorless areas by making use of their own experience in practicing regional medicine.

Led by Chief Executive Officer Michiyasu Yoshiara, a graduate of the first term, Jichi Medical University graduates began operating hospitals and clinics in several locations in the Kanto area, and since then, the organization has grown steadily and now operates as many as 84 hospitals and clinics throughout the country, literally from Hokkaido in the north to Okinawa in the south. These facilities are operated by graduates of Jichi Medical University as well as graduates of other medical universities who are interested in community medicine, and are striving to maintain the health of many residents in each local area.

In addition, since there is often a demand in the community for physicians who can provide comprehensive care that is not limited to specialized knowledge and skills, we are working to develop and train general physicians and dispatch them to local medical institutions that do not have physicians on staff. We also sent a substitute physician to a one-person remote clinic when a doctor takes a leave of absence. Japan Association for Development of Community Medicine will continue its efforts to support community healthcare in cooperation with Jichi Medical University. We ask for the continued support and encouragement of all concerned.

Seeking solutions for the problems of community

(公益社団法人地域医療振興協会 理事長 吉新通康)の画像

Japan Association for
Development of
Community Medicine

Chairman,the Board of Directors
Chief Executive Officer
Michiyasu Yoshiara

Since Japan Association for Development of Community Medicine(JADECOM) was founded for the purpose of securing community medicine in Japan and raising its quality, the environment affecting medical care in the country has been changing rapidly. At present, the shortage of doctors is a serious social problem in urban as well as in rural areas.

In particular, medical resources such as doctors and medical facilities are centralized in large cities and regional core cities, while rural areas in mountainous regions and isolated islands facing a serious shortage of doctors. Many regions do not have enough doctors to handle even daily medical care.

Through the experiences with medical care in rural areas, JADECOM became keenly aware of the need for an organization that would solve the problems of those areas, by securing medical care for them, and raising its quality. In 1986, JADECOM was founded in response to such needs, as a body for medical care in rural areas. Its members are doctors with proven experience in that kind of medical work. JADECOM is running a comprehensive range of operations for medical care in rural areas, such as operating medical facilities mainly in rural areas, consulting with related administrative agencies, job introduction and dispatching doctors in rural areas, training generalists, supporting medical students’ activity in medically under-served areas, and publishing the bulletin “Monthly Community Medicine”. Many regions have problems concerning the medical care coverage, and their problems are all complex, wide-ranging, and difficult to solve. Nevertheless, JADECOM is confident that its members, with their abundant experience in community medicine, act together for common mission, and JADECOM will be able to achieve solutions.

JADECOM wish to thank all those from Cabinet Office,Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, prefectural governments, and Jichi Medical University, who guide and assist its daily operations. JADECOM look forward to their continuous support in the future.