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5 May 2020

CBS News

Japan: Health care workers face discrimination & harassment over COVID-19

"Japan's beleaguered nurses battling widespread abuse along with COVID-19", 28 April 2020

...In Japan, nurses and doctors shoulder an additional burden — abuse, hysteria and harassment from their fellow citizens.

...Multiple cases of healthcare workers' children being kicked out of public daycare centers — forcing some nurses to stay home or even to leave the profession — compelled the government to issue a statement that "prejudice and discrimination toward the children of medical workers is absolutely not permissible."

...Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike called the execrable treatment of health care workers "extremely sad," adding that, "from a human rights perspective, it's extremely shameful."

The barrage of vitriol towards health workers, along with a stigmatization of coronavirus patients, was addressed in a recent Japanese Red Cross campaign, which said COVID-19 was triggering another epidemic — of fear and vilification of medical staff and patients.  

...[N]urses, who are overwhelmingly female in Japan, were in short supply in the country. With a spike in severely ill patients needing ventilators and ECMO heart-and-lung machines, which require additional staff, nurses have been stretched to the limit.

...A 2019 survey by the Japan Nursing Association found that one out of every six nurses quits their job within the first year because of the punishing work, low pay and lack of time off, in addition to sexual harassment.