Welfare - The Situation Today
Due to increases in life expectancy and a falling birth rate,Japanese society as a whole is rapidly aging]and by the year
2000 senior citizens in Japan will comprise the largest proportion of society of
any nation in the worldD
In Fukushima Prefecture in 1993,senior citizens(people of age 65 or over)made up 16.2% of the total population,as against the national average of 13.5%. In some areas of the prefecture,the percent-age is over 30%; thus it is imperative to take immediate steps to ensure the health and welfare of senior citizens and to enable them to live comfortable,secure lives. To this end,Fukushima Prefecture is improving its facilities for senior citizens -as well as for the handicapped-and expanding welfare services. The prefectural government also encourages both elderly and handicapped citizens to participate actively in society and thus lead more fulfilling lives.
Japan ranks No. 1 in the world in life expectancy,and "Life lasts 80 years" has become a popular expression with the public. At the same time,however,owing to the rapid aging of Japanese society and
accelerated change in living environments,the incidence of disease among the elderly and the middle-aged is increasing. As a result,the medical needs of prefectural citizens have grown more varied and pressing. This trend is presenting society with the serious problem of rising medical costs.
In response,the prefectural government offers its citizens attentive health care education and counseling as well as guidance on the prevention of diseases,with the aim of helping each citizen lead a healthy and energetic life,both physically and mentally,throughout his or her life pan. Moreover,so that citizens can receive proper medical treatment at anytime and anywhere in the prefecture,the government is improving its medical facilities and expanding its medical service systemD
Prefectural Medical College
Nine prefectural hospitals provide comprehensive medical services in their respective area. Among them,Fukushima City's Prefectural Medical College
plays an especially important health care role.
The prefecture is continually upgrading facilities that offer advanced and specialized medical services. In recent years,trainees from other Asian countries and elsewhere have been attracted to Fukushima to study medicine and acquire