Tokyo, Aug. 6 (Jiji Press)–About 80 pct of nearly 500 Japanese hospitals treating patients with the COVID-19 disease from the novel coronavirus were in the red every month between April and June, a survey showed on Thursday.
The hospitals had to reduce the number of beds in order to accommodate COVID-19 patients and accepted fewer new non-coronavirus patients.
The survey, carried out by the Japan Hospital Association, the All Japan Hospital Association and the Association of Japanese Healthcare Corporations, covered 4,496 hospitals, with 1,459 of them giving answers.
Over 60 pct of all responding hospitals were in the red in each of the three months. More than half of hospitals that did not accept coronavirus patients saw losses as people refrained from visiting the facilities due to concerns about catching the virus.
The profit ratio came to minus 9.1 pct in April, minus 8.4 pct in May and minus 12.1 pct in June for all hospitals.
The size of drop was biggest in June because hospital had to pay summer bonuses to staff employees although the number of coronavirus patients decreased while revenue from new inpatients with diseases other than the COVID-19 and outpatients increased in the month.
The ratio was worse than minus 10 pct in each month for hospitals that accepted COVID-19 patients.
Nearly 30 pct of hospitals slashed bonuses due to financial deterioration.
“After suffering large losses for three straight months, hospitals will face difficulties providing normal medical services,” said Takao Aizawa, head of the Japan Hospital Association.
Expressing concern over a recent resurgence in the number of novel coronavirus cases, Aizawa asked the government to pay hospital grants set aside under its fiscal 2020 second supplementary budget early and draw up additional support measures.