Japan, India to train trauma surgeons

HOSPITALITY NICHE: Medical professionals examine a cadaver in an event room in November at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts convention center in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. REUTERS/Elizabeth Culliford

The Japanese and Indian governments plan to jointly build an emergency medical care center specializing in trauma surgery in the Indian capital city of New Delhi in response to mounting demand for trauma surgery mainly due to a rapid increase in traffic accidents in India, The Yomiuri Shimbun has learned.

The Japanese government intends to dispatch young doctors to India and contribute to nurturing Indian doctors, and at the same time, it wants to make the medical exchange with India an opportunity for Japanese doctors to broaden their surgical experience, according to sources.

The Japanese government is considering holding a meeting of its Headquarters for Healthcare Policy, headed by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, as early as Wednesday to revise the basic policy of the Asia Human Well-Being Initiative to include the establishment of the emergency medical care center in the policy.

Following the meeting, the two governments will exchange memorandums of cooperation in the autumn of this year for building the center, aiming to open the center in 2019, the sources said.

The initiative is aimed at promotion of Japan’s medical and nursing care service industries through overseas deployment. And at the same time the government intends to help Asian countries build societies that can cope with ageing populations.

The Japanese government is working on materializing the initiative through joint efforts by the public and private sectors with the Headquarters for Healthcare Policy, which it established in 2014, serving as a control tower for this initiative.

The center will be housed in the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, which is regarded as the best medical university in the country, and will be operated with cooperation from the Tokyo-based National Center for Global Health and Medicine, medical equipment manufacturers and other entities. The activities at the center will include Japanese doctors teaching Indian participants how to use state-of-the-art medical equipment introduced from Japan.

The Indian side is working on procedures within the government so that Japanese doctors will be able to provide medical treatment at the center. Costs, such as for the introduction of medical equipment, will be covered by funds the Japanese government has contributed to the Jakarta-headquartered Economic Research Institute for ASEAN and East Asia.

Use of motor vehicles is rapidly increasing in India, but so is the number of traffic accidents as infrastructure improvement has not kept pace with the growth in motor vehicle use. According to the Indian government, deaths from traffic accidents in 2017 exceeded 140,000, the highest in the world. Coming up with countermeasures is a pressing issue in India.

Meanwhile in Japan, the number of traffic accidents is on the decline. “The opportunities for emergency trauma surgical operations have decreased [in Japan], and now it is difficult to train Japanese doctors who specialize in trauma surgery here,” said an official at the Cabinet Secretariat’s Office of Healthcare Policy.

The Japanese government expects that young Japanese doctors dispatched to India will broaden their experience with emergency trauma surgeries at the center, and the center will become an opportunity to nurture the Japanese specialist doctors.

In order to be certified in Japan as a special doctor for trauma surgery, it is necessary to accumulate experience for a certain period at special facilities recognized by the Japanese Association for the Surgery of Trauma and other entities.

The Japanese government plans to urge the domestic medical groups to take into consideration the records of operations in India in the screening process to certify the specialist doctors.

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