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Panel calls for better medical care at immigration detention centers

  • February 9, 2022
  • English Press

NHK has learned that a panel of experts set up by Japan’s Immigration Services Agency has drawn up a draft report asking the government to improve the medical care system at immigration detention facilities.


The move follows the death of Sri Lankan Wishma Sandamali at a detention facility in Nagoya, central Japan, last March.  She had been detained for overstaying her visa. She began complaining of ill health at the facility in January and died there two months later.


In the draft report, the panel says healthcare workers and staff at detention centers nationwide should have opportunities to share and discuss cases.


The panel also says a medical coordinator, which will be set up at the Immigration Services Agency in April, should work more closely with detention facilities across the country.


In addition, the panel calls for legislative revisions to allow doctors working full time at detention facilities to have side jobs as their compensation often does not match those at private medical institutions.


The panel also points out the need to raise retirement age, currently set at 65, to secure experienced doctors.


It plans to submit the report to the ISA after a final review.

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