Hiroshima Prefecture to send doctors to five cities in North America to give health advice to local A-bomb survivors

by Yumie Kubo, Staff Writer

From October 24, Hiroshima Prefecture will hold a series of health consultation meetings in five cities of the United States and Canada for A-bomb survivors living in North America. This is part of the national government’s efforts to support A-bomb survivors who now live overseas, and the doctors will be dispatched to the North American cities by the Hiroshima Prefectural Medical Association located in Higashi Ward. Their travels to these cities will last until November 13.

The doctors will form two groups to cover these five cities. The first group consists of three doctors who will make stops in San Francisco and Seattle in the United States and Vancouver, Canada from October 24 to November 2. The second group of four doctors will go to Honolulu and Los Angeles in the United States from November 3 through 13.

The doctors will explain the results of health checkups that the survivors had received beforehand in Japanese or give them health advice. Officials from Hiroshima Prefecture, the City of Hiroshima, Nagasaki Prefecture, and the City of Nagasaki will also join the tour and provide consultations for the survivors regarding the procedures to receive support for medical expenses and address other issues.

Ahead of the departure, Shuzo Toyota, the deputy chair of the Hiroshima Prefectural Medical Association who is serving as the head of these delegations, met with Hiroshima Governor Hidehiko Yuzaki at the Hiroshima Prefectural Office. Mr. Toyota shared the schedule of the groups’ activities and pledged to the governor, “We want to ensure that we give good advice to the A-bomb survivors.”

According to the Japanese government, a total of 671 people who survived the atomic bombing live in the United States and Canada (as of the end of March). Health consultations delivered by Japanese doctors have taken place in North America every two years since 1977, and 213 survivors used the consultation service in 2017, the last time this took place.

(Originally published on October 23, 2019)