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Caregiver suit charges he deserves more pay

Date Posted: 2006-09-16

Wataru Oshiro is a university student working as a caregiver at a Nago City nursing home.

He often stays round-the-clock with his patient, whom he says is “a sick guy who can’t live by himself. The old guy needs a helper all the time, because he is sick and can’t even go to the toilet by himself.” Oshiro says his patient cannot eat or bathe alone, and heart failure and respiratory disease force the man onto a machine. “Without it, he will die,” says the 21-year-old home helper. “It’s dangerous for him to be alone so I have to watch him all the time. Yes, 24 hours a day.”

Oshiro’s complaint is that he works many, many hours, but is only paid for 10 hours a day by Nago City. “Why only ten hours,” Oshiro asks. “I was taking care of him all the time, so I decided to complain and protest to the city.” Oshiro has sent the Prefecture a letter, and says he has his lawyer looking into issues surrounding Nago City nursing home staff saying “very bad discriminating words to me. I can’t forgive them.”

A 14-lawyer group is representing Oshiro. It says “disabled people have human rights” that include being properly taken care of. They support Oshiro’s claim he should be paid for the extended time spent with his patient.

The Prefecture Objection Judgment Committee will hold hearings to determine what is a fair amount of time for Oshiro to be paid. The lawyer group representing Oshiro is also passing out pamphlets to other patients and caregivers pointing out their rights to proper care, and fair pay for doing the work.

The law group based in mainland Japan says “Oshiro hasn’t enough money to take care of even his own life because he is paid such a small pay by the city. Nago City should payment for 24 hours work, and not only 10 hours.”

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