Outline of Japan Seafarers Relief Association


 Founded in August 1880, the Japan Seafarers Relief Assoiciation (Nihon Kaiin Ekisaikai) is the oldest and most prestigious public corporation in Japan. In the prewar period, the association engaged in the training of seafarers as well as providing medical care and other social welfare services for seafarers and their bereaved families, thus contributing ti the development of the shipping and fisheries industries. After the war, we made a new start as a social welfare public corporation in response to the ever-changing social conditions,taking aim to promote the well-being of regional communities in line with the spirit of contributing to social welfare. Now under the supervision of theMinistry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport anMinistry of Health,Labour and Welfare, the association is dedicated to social welfare activities for the general public with a focus on medical services, and various forms of weldare services for seafarers.
 As such, the association operates eight hospitals, 15 clinics and one nursing school. Staffed by 2,263 employees (as of April 1, 2002), these medical facilities are equipped with as many as 1,964beds for patients.
 Our main activities are as follows.

 

  1. Medical Services
     The association's hospitals and clinics provide regular medical services to the general public along with various forms of medical-related support services, as follows:

    (1)Treatment of livelihood-assisted patients and exemption or reduction of medical fees
     Functioning in the capacity of Type Usocial welfare facilities, our hospitals and clinics offer medical treatment to livelihood-assisted patients while also extending medical fee exemption or reduction, according to the degree of difficulty, for patients having difficulty in paying such fees. This is based on the results of counseling by our medical social workers or medical consultants.

    (2)Dispatching free medical consultation teams
     By dispatching medical teams, we offer free medical services and consultation for those living in remote islands, remote rural areas and no-doctor areas, and those taken care of at welfare facilities for the elderly. These services not only contribute to the early detection and treatment of diseases but also promote the spread of consciousness regarding helth care and hygiene.

    (3)Emergency medical treatment
     All of our hospitals and clinics stand ready to provide emergency medical treatment for patients due to traffic accidents, natural disasters such as storms, floods and earthquakes, and also respond quickly to requests from ships at sea for doctors' visits. This is made possible by the fact that each of our hospitals/clinics maintains close contact and coordination with local police stations, fire stations, the Japan Coast Guard, the Marine Rescue Japan and other related organizations. We have reason to take pride in our well organized and well appointed facilities.
     In the case of an emergency at social and/or entertainment events, we are able to dispatch a medical team to treat the sick and wounded.

    (4)Medical consultation via ship-to-shore radio

     Our hospitals provide emergency medical consultation via radio night and day when diseases or injuries have occurred on board ship-whether foreign or Japanese - at sea.

  2. Welfare services for Children and the Physically Handicapped
     Designated as child-rearing-support medical facilities under the Child Welfare Law and rehabilitation medical facilities under the Welfare Law for the Physically Handicapped, our hospitals provide medical services as such. We also contribute to the stable livelihood and independent living of the physically handicapped by employing such people.

  3. Activities for Health and Welfare of the Elderly
     For the bedridden elderly under the Health and Medical Service Law for the Elderly, we provide a variety of services such as nursing, care under medical supervision, functional rehabilitation, and other necessary medical care and help in daily matters. We also provide nursing services with a focus on care through nurses'home visits.

  4. Public Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Activities
     Our hospitals and clinics are also committed to public health guidance and disease prevention through services as follows:

    (1)Health promotion and disease prevention for seafarers
     Becouse of the special conditions surrounding seafarers during long periods at sea, special attention needs to be paid to their health. We visit ships when they are in port, to provide medical examinations and vaccinations as well as guidance for helth care on borad.

    (2)Health promotion and disease prevention for community residents

     As part of public health guidance, we conduct group examinations for employees at business and industrial establishments. Efforts are also being made in local communities by inviting residents to receive medical checkups during our visits to local communities. These activiteis contribute to the early detection and prevention of diseases such as cancer, heart disease and cerebral apoplexy among others.

    (3)Infectious disease prevention
     As designated medical facilities under the Tuberculosis Prevention Law, we are deeply concerned with the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis. We are also active in the prevention and extermination of sexually transmitted diseases.

    (4)Special services

     We provide free medical and helth consultations for seafarers and community residents at certain times of the year, including the Sea Memorial days, the Sea Safety month and the year-end season, thus promoting health consciousness.

  5. Scholarships for future seafarers
     In a cooperative effort to foster competent seafarers, we extend scholarships free of interest to seafarer school students who are in financial difficulty.

  6. Personal Affairs Consultation and Condolences
     We post medical social workers or consultants at our hospitals and clinics, who are available for consultation on procedures needed to apply for public financial assistance. Depending on the nature and degree of the circumstances, we establish contact with authorities concerned as necessary and provide appropriate advice.

  7. Publishing Books on Maritime Affairs
     We publish the maritime-related books shown on the right list. Under the Maritime Safety Law, ships are required to be equipped with these books on board.

    Handbook of Medical Treatment on Ships
    (Supervised by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport)
    Handbook of Medical Treatment on Small Ships
    (Supervised by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport)
    International Signals
    (Supervised by the Japan Coast Guard)