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Article

Trends in Healthcare Access in Japan during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic, up to June 2020

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HOXO-M Inc., 1-22-11 Ginza, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0061, Japan
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Department of Mathematical and Computing Science, Tokyo Institute of Technology, 2-12-1 Ookayama, Meguro-ku, Tokyo 152-8550, Japan
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Department of Health Policy and Management, School of Medicine, Keio University, 35 Shinanomachi, Shinjyuku-ku, Tokyo 160-8582, Japan
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Department of Global Health Policy, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8654, Japan
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Department of Sustainable Health Science, Center for Preventive Medical Sciences, Chiba University, 1-33 Yayoi-cho, Inage-ku, Chiba 263-8522, Japan
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Graduate School of Public Health, St. Luke’s International University, 10-1 Akashi-cho, Chuo-ku, Tokyo 104-0044, Japan
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Institute for Business and Finance, Waseda University, 1-6-1 Nishi-Waseda, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 169-8050, Japan
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Department of Systems Pharmacology, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8654, Japan
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Laboratory for Synthetic Biology, RIKEN Center for Biosystems Dynamics Research, 1-3 Yamadaoka, Suita, Osaka 565-0871, Japan
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Department of Management Science, Graduate School of Engineering, Tokyo University of Science, 1-3 Kagurazaka, Shinjuku-ku, Tokyo 162-8601, Japan
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Center for Environmental Biology and Ecosystem Studies, National Institute for Environmental Studies (NIES), 16-2 Onogawa, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8506, Japan
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Shared co-first authorship.
Academic Editors: Vincenzo Russo, Francesco Saverio Mennini and Luca Coppeta
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(6), 3271; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063271
Received: 8 February 2021 / Revised: 16 March 2021 / Accepted: 18 March 2021 / Published: 22 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Preventive and Social Medicine in Outbreak Era)
We evaluated the impact of the new coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on healthcare access in Japan in terms of the number of outpatients and hospitalized patients as well as the length of hospital stays, during the first wave of the pandemic, up to June 2020. This observational study evaluated the monthly average number of outpatients per day at hospitals, the average number of hospitalized patients per day, and the average length of hospital stays per patient, from December 2010 to June 2020, using the hospital reports data, which are open aggregated data on the utilization of hospitals from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare. These numbers were compared with those from the same period of previous years, using a quasi-Poisson regression model. We found a nationwide decrease in the number of outpatients in general hospitals and hospitalized patients, particularly in long-term care beds in Japan, as well as the excess length of hospital stays among psychiatric care patients during the first wave of the COVID-19. This limited access to healthcare demonstrated the importance of the long-term health monitoring of vulnerable populations and the need for urgent management support to healthcare facilities in preparation for possible prolonged pandemics in the future. View Full-Text
Keywords: COVID-19; healthcare access; Japan COVID-19; healthcare access; Japan
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MDPI and ACS Style

Makiyama, K.; Kawashima, T.; Nomura, S.; Eguchi, A.; Yoneoka, D.; Tanoue, Y.; Kawamura, Y.; Sakamoto, H.; Gilmour, S.; Shi, S.; Matsuura, K.; Uryu, S.; Hashizume, M. Trends in Healthcare Access in Japan during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic, up to June 2020. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 3271. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063271

AMA Style

Makiyama K, Kawashima T, Nomura S, Eguchi A, Yoneoka D, Tanoue Y, Kawamura Y, Sakamoto H, Gilmour S, Shi S, Matsuura K, Uryu S, Hashizume M. Trends in Healthcare Access in Japan during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic, up to June 2020. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(6):3271. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063271

Chicago/Turabian Style

Makiyama, Koji, Takayuki Kawashima, Shuhei Nomura, Akifumi Eguchi, Daisuke Yoneoka, Yuta Tanoue, Yumi Kawamura, Haruka Sakamoto, Stuart Gilmour, Shoi Shi, Kentaro Matsuura, Shinya Uryu, and Masahiro Hashizume. 2021. "Trends in Healthcare Access in Japan during the First Wave of the COVID-19 Pandemic, up to June 2020" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 6: 3271. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18063271

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