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Japan’s Coastal Health Systems Facing Long Rebuilding Process Following Tsunami

The Lancet reports on Japan’s “daunting task of rebuilding hundreds of damaged health facilities” four months after an earthquake and tsunami hit the country. “When the tsunami ripped houses from their foundations and sent cars and other debris miles inland, it also caused widespread damage to the health infrastructure in a region already struggling to fund health services for its large elderly population,” the Lancet writes.

While a shortage of hospital beds in coastal regions is expected to last at least two years, according to local health officials, “a far bigger problem is the slow pace of reconstruction, a huge task that is expected to take at least 3 years and cost more than 10 trillion yen,” the Lancet notes (McCurry, 7/2).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.