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J.Jpn. Surg. Soc.. 114(2): 80-84, 2013

Feature topic


Director, Office of Medical Safety Promotion, Health Policy Bureau, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, Japan

Tetsuya Miyamoto

After notorious medical accidents in 1999 and 2000, medical safety promotion was enhanced in Japan. After struggling for years, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare succeeded in increasing societal interest, including that of the medical community, in medical accident review, and a draft outline of the Bill for the Committee for Medical Safety Review was announced in 2008. This draft outline proposed establishing an independent governmental body to conduct medical accident reviews. The body was meant to collect information on all cases of death related to medical care, review the cases if needed, and announce the findings to prevent future accidents. It was also planned to adjust criminal procedures in such cases, about which the medical community was extremely concerned. Anxiety over that section of the draft outline was expressed by medical personnel, and it was decided to reconsider the plan. In August 2011, a study group on no-fault compensation and related matters was established. Its four meetings led to the establishment of a working group for discussions on the optimum method for accident review. In February 2012, a working group on the accident review system and related matters was established. After eight meetings, the opinions of its members still differed considerably. The search for a definitive conclusion on medical accident review that will find widespread acceptance continues.

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