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Miyako looking hard for a new brain surgeon

Date Posted: 2009-12-17

Miyako Hospital has two brain surgeons, and but one is set to retire next March. Okinawa Prefecture, which owns the hospital, is actively trying to recruit a new one, but hasn’t had much luck so far.

The second doctor, who is not under contract, is treating some patients, but Miyako Hospital has been sending patients to Okinawa’s main island, to hospitals in Naha City and Urasoe City. They’re transferred by medical helicopters if the patient is critically ill and requires immediate surgery. Before the second surgeon came to Miyako to assist from 2008-2008, the hospital’s sent 50 patients to mainland Okinawa, but hospital officials say it isn’t good enough. They say some died en route.

With the current staffing, surgeons at Miyako Hospital have operated on 55 patients, including 44 that were deemed critical. They say many of those patients may not have survived if they’d had to be sent to mainland Okinawa. The Miyako Hospital Director, Masaaki Adaniya, is appealing to surgeons to consider his island. “Please come to work at our hospital to protect the lives of local islander patients.” He says “we are waiting for you.”

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