Fukushima sets up scholarship to lure doctors

Fukushima, Sep 27: The municipal assembly in Fukushima Prefecture's Minamisoma, where doctors decreased in the wake of the nuclear crisis, enacted an ordinance on Tuesday, Sep 27 to set up a scholarship programme for medical students to work at its public hospital with funds donated by a former resident.

The city office will set up a scholarship fund with the 100 million yen donated for reconstruction by a resident who moved to Fukushima City, it said.

Students who enroll next Apr or later at Fukushima Medical University or Tohoku University School of Medicine and intend to work after graduation at Minamisoma City General Hospital are eligible to receive loans providing 240,000 yen a month in allowances and covering the admission fees of about 3 million yen.

The loans need not be repaid if graduating students work at the hospital for 1.5 times the period over which they received the scholarship, it said.

At the hospital, which serves as a regional core medical institution, the number of full-time doctors has declined to seven from 12 and the number of beds to 100 from 230 in the aftermath of the nuclear disaster, causing it to suspend service at some departments which lack a doctor.

"As doctors are expected to remain short in Minamisoma, we want motivated students to come," hospital director Yukio Kanazawa said.


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