Very interesting as a public health professional, good to talk to managers and frontline people.
- I very much appreciated being able to visit 4 very different hospitals in Tokyo. It gave me much more perspective on the demographic crisis affecting Japan, and the stunning need for additional healthcare workers (including PT, OT, nurses, physicians, case managers, social workers) to deal with the aging population.
- Visiting the hospitals was very helpful in understanding the Japanese healthcare system
- Nice to see facilities (especially Todai). Glad this was in the afternoon. While I loved knowing about all three facilities, it was unfortunately the longest day of the trip.
The hospital visits provided excellent insight into the healthcare system.
- “- Visit to Tokyo University Hospital, Geriatric Hospital and Rehabilitation Center
Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health students had the opportunity to visit Tokyo University Hospital, a 1,217-bed hospital established in 1858 as a vaccination center. They had the chance to briefly discuss specific points in managing patients, comparing and contrasting differences in allocation of resources in the United States and in Japan’s health care systems. More specifically, students also visited the Intensive Care Unit, with approximately 40 working beds. This ICU has the primary role of managing patients with cardiovascular diseases as well as postoperative patients from thoracic and hepatic surgeries. Average hospital stay is 12.7 days and ICU patients have a longer length of stay of 20 days in average.
Harvard TH Chan students also visited a Geriatric Hospital and a Rehabilitation Center. At the Geriatric Hospital, which managed mainly patients with cardiovascular disease, a striking characteristic was the intense efforts to allocate resources, including intensive care support and surgery, regardless of patients’ ages.
Finally, at the rehabilitation center, Harvard students could observe how the experienced and dedicated staff managed to reintegrate patients, specially with cerebrovascular diseases and motor deficits, to the society after an average length of stay of 90 days.
- Overall all students found this opportunity to be very rewarding and enriching. To understand part of the Japanese Health System and how Aging Population is driving political choices are lessons to be learned by countries where the life expectancy is lower than Japan.
- The only hospital visit that was valuable was the dementia floor at one of the hospitals. It would have been beneficial to learn more about it programming and the elements that have been implemented making it unique to any other program. The other hospital visits did not provide a perspective that provided insight in how a hospital addresses the needs of the aging population. The one hospital that primarily served the elderly did not share any information regarding how their hospital is unique (other than its patients) compared to other hospitals. I wanted to know how or what makes this hospital a potential model for other hospitals.