General Activities

4. Promoting Health Care and Welfare

Like most industrialized nations, Japan is becoming an aging society at an unprecedented and alarming rate. Measures to care for the rapidly increasing number of bed-ridden or senile elderly people are urgently needed. As a professional medical organization, the JMA participates in deliberations on health care and welfare policies at the national level, so that its views are reflected in government policies. The JMA also helps to coordinate policies of various administrative organs in order to promote social services for the elderly in an aging society.

At the local level, in cooperation with local governments the JMA vigorously promotes activities related to health care and welfare for the community and extends health services through "family physicians" who provide care in patients' homes as well as in their clinics.

Community health services, including emergency medical care, are also actively being improved together with health-related activities that include protecting the health of infants, children, and students, as well as industrial health programs for workers.

Accuracy Management Survey of Clinical Examinations
Clinical examinations have become extremely complex as health care has progressed, and the demand for quality management aimed at improving the accuracy of clinical examinations has grown. It is therefore important that physicians participate periodically in surveys administered by external organizations that evaluate the accuracy of clinical examinations in order to achieve continual improvements in this area.

In view of the importance of quality management in clinical examinations, the JMA has been implementing surveys to evaluate the accuracy of clinical examinations since 1967 with the objective of improving their quality. There are approximately 3,161 participants in The current survey, including medical association-operated hospitals; medical association-operated laboratory test centers; national, university, and general hospitals; registered public health laboratories; clinics; and others. It is the largest survey of its kind in Japan that is conducted by an external organization. The survey findings for each participating institution serve as a means of evaluating the quality of the clinical treatment and tests provided.

JMA Program to Certify Industrial Health Physicians
The environmental conditions that affect the health of company employees have become complex and diverse in tandem with the myriad transitions that have occurred in industries and the rapid technological innovations that have evolved. Subsequently, the role of the industrial health physician in health care management of employees has continued to grow in importance.

The JMA began an accreditation system for industrial health physicians in 1990 with the objective of promoting industrial health activities and improving the quality of company employed physicians.

Physicians who have completed the JMA basic training course in industrial medicine (50 units) are awarded the JMA Certificate of Accreditation for Industrial Health Physicians. The certification is effective for a five-year period and physicians are required to undergo a training course in order to renew the certification prior to its expiration. As of January 2009, 76,440 Physicians have been certified under this JMA system.

JMA System of Certification of Sports Health Physicians
The role of the physician as a source of guidance in the area of sports and exercises for youth, adults, and the elderly has grown with the rise in the number of people active in sports.

The JMA has operated an accreditation system for sports health physicians since 1991 with the aim of fostering and improving the quality of sports health physicians with basic expertise and skills who are capable of providing professional advice and guidance in rehabilitation and sports and prescribing appropriate exercises for patients.

Physicians who have completed the JMA basic training course in sports medicine (21 courses) are awarded the JMA Certificate of Accreditation for Sports Health Physicians. The certification is effective for a five-year period and physicians are required to undergo a training course in order to renew the certification prior to its expiration. As of January 2009, 20,121 physicians have been certified under this JMA system.

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