Kitadaito doctor leaves island after threat from DUI driver

The Kitadaito Island Medical Clinic has been without its only permanent doctor since the beginning of February, when the female doctor of the clinic was involved in a traffic accident, and the man who caused the accident threatened her.

As a result, the doctor left the island, and currently, substitute doctors from the Prefectural Nanbu Medical Center and Prefectural Central Hospital visit the island to see patients there. However, it has been difficult to continuously transfer a doctor from Okinawa to the remote island.

According to Naha Police, the accident occurred on Feb. 7th. A man driving a car suddenly strayed onto the opposite lane and crash into the doctor’s car. The doctor and her accompanying passenger were slightly injured, and the man threatened them saying, “You understand what will happen if you call police.” However, police arrived at the scene and a test showed he had twice the legal limit of alcohol in his breath

After the accident, the doctor left the island, and the man was arrested on a charge of conveying a threat against the doctor. The female doctor was expected to stay on the island until the end of next year, but she decided to leave.

The Prefectural Medical Office sees the situation serious and has asked the Kitadaito Village to establish safety measures. Office plans to hire a successor in April.