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Handicapped woman appeals nursing payment restrictions

Date Posted: 2007-03-22

A woman struggling with progressive muscular dystrophy is now battling the Prefecture over how much money should be spent on her care.

Ayumi Oshiro is heavily handicapped and is telling Okinawa Governor she requires near round-the-clock nursing care. She has issued an appeal to Governor Hirokazu Nakaima, asking he reverse a decision by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare that grants what she calls insufficient levels of care.

She is asking for nursing attendants 744 hours each month, much more than the 331 hours the ministry earlier approved. “It’s inadequate what they say a person needs”, citing the need for more than 30 minutes care during bedtime hours.

Her attorney says the doctor’s description of needed care should be the bottom line. “Japanese standard care is that a position change or artificial respiration operation is required about once every two hours, and it is always assumed that duty is always provided by a care giver.” He says it’s difficult for Ohshiro to live by herself, noting she cannot even answer the telephone alone.

Her doctor has explained to the Prefecture she needs a helper throughout the day, and that there must be position changes once every two hours.

The Prefecture Independent Life Center Iruka’s director, Mikio Shinmon, agrees. “Who on earth can be cared for only ten minutes in the middle of the night?” He criticizes the administration for being insensitive.

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