Health checkups for A-bomb survivors in South America: Hiroshima Prefectural Government will subsidize from October

by Kyoko Shinmoto, Staff Writer

On June 12, Hiroshima Prefectural Government announced a program starting in October that allows A-bomb survivors in South America to receive health checkups at local or regional hospitals at no cost. It is part of the Japanese government’s efforts to assist A-bomb survivors residing outside Japan. The Japanese central government will bear all the costs of the program.

The prefectural government explained that the checkup program will target eight hospitals in seven cities in five countries (Brazil, Argentina, Peru, Paraguay and Bolivia). The government estimates that about 100 people will receive the checkups.

Health checkups for A-bomb survivors in South America started in fiscal 1985, when the central government began commissioning Hiroshima Prefectural Government to dispatch groups of doctors to Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. The program was an extension of the health checkup program for North America, which was launched in fiscal 1977. The North and South America checkup programs are implemented every other year by turns. (For instance, the program is implemented in South America this year. Next year, the program will be implemented in North America.) However, the aging A-bomb survivors now request annual checkups.

This year, following the schedule, the group of doctors will go to North America. In fiscal 2014, the subsidy program for health checkups will begin in North America as well.

(Originally published on June 13, 2013)