15 Avril 2012
April 15, 2012
FUKUSHIMA (Kyodo) -- The municipal government of Namie, Fukushima Prefecture, located near the crippled Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant, will request the state exempt its residents from paying medical fees, senior municipal officials said.
It will be the first move by local governments affected by the nuclear disaster to seek legal measures for residents' healthcare, according to the officials.
"We will stress the importance of health supervision for our residents," they said.
The Namie government will ask seven neighboring municipalities to join the request, and the town of Futaba is already prepared to join, according to the officials.
Namie will soon distribute health handbooks to all residents so they can continuously record the results of health checks, including thyroid exams, for long-term healthcare.
The handbooks were apparently compiled based on those distributed to the survivors of the 1945 U.S. atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The holders of the A-bomb health handbook are exempt from medical fees in principle, and Namie will seek to introduce a similar medical fee exemption for those who have its health handbooks.
"Our residents will be plagued by worries about their health in the wake of radiation exposure. It is necessary to provide them with permanent medical treatment," a municipal official said.