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Patients’ Rights Ombudsman Japan

Address of office

2-1-22 Fukuoka-isokurabiru the fifth-floor,Maidashi, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka-shi, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan 812-0054

Tel   81-92-643-7579

Fax   81-92-643-7578

Chief Director  Mitsuru Ikenaga (Lawyer)

E-mail   ombudsman005@patient-rights.or.jp

URL  http://www.patient-rights.or.jp

Organization

Patients‘ Rights Ombudsman Japan is a volunteer group founded on June 20, 1999 and it was authorized as a specified nonprofit organization (NPO) on December 10, 1999.

“Patient‘s Rights Ombudsman Tokyo” started in December, 2002, and the consultation activity is done weekly in Tokyo and Yokohama .

“Patient‘s Rights Ombudsman whole country report committee” was established on the same day. The purpose is from a nationwide standpoint to promote the development of the Patients’ Right Ombudsman exercise in nationwide various places, the exchange of the experience , and to promote of the united action and the policy proposal to establish “Medical treatment studied from the complaint” and “Medical treatment at the patient center”.

“Patient’s Rights ombudsman Kansai” started in August 2004.

The Interview consultation in Kansai region is provided once a month in Koube , Osaka and Kyoto.

“The Oita Consultation Room”, a branch of Patients‘ Rights Ombudsman Japan started in March 2006. The Interview consultation in Oita prefecture is provided once a month .

“The Kumamoto Consultation Room”, a branch of Patients‘ Rights Ombudsman Japan started in April 2009. The Interview consultation in Kumamoto prefecture is provided once a month .

“The Kitakyusyu Consultation Room”, a branch of Patients‘ Rights Ombudsman Japan started in October 2009. The Interview consultation in Kitakyusyu City is provided twice a month .

Purpose

The purpose of Patients’ Rights Ombudsman Japan is to promote the rights of patients, improve health care & welfare systems and enhance the quality of services.
We aim to achieve this through activities which focus on promoting prompt and appropriate solutions to patients’ complaints by means of faithful dialogue between the patient and the health care providers, while protecting the patient’s rights. For this purpose, we provide consultation and support services by consultants, and, if necessary, complaint research and inspections can be carried out and advice to health care & welfare institutes can be given by our ombudsman committee. In addition, we also conduct various PR activities in an effort to arouse public awareness.

NPO activities

(1)Consultation and support services by consultants
(2)Complaint research and inspections by our ombudsman committee, in addition to the giving of advice to medical and welfare institutes
(3) Research and proposals regarding complaint solution systems for medical and welfare institutes
(4)Training and PR activities via workshops, lectures, and the publication of newsletters
(5)Promotion of research into patients’ rights advocacy system and international exchange between various patients’ rights movement
(6)advance of protection and appropriate handling of individual patient’s information in registered hospitals and welfare institutions as a protection of individual information group recognized by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare

(1) Complaint Consultation

Complaint consultation of the Patients’ Rights Ombudsman Japan is provided on the basis of “Self-help Support” in order to support patients and their families to have direct discussion of their complaints with the other party, that is, medical and welfare institutes and thus to solve their complaints.
Our Interview consultation services are provided three times a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) and once a month (Sunday) by citizen consultants and legal consultants (lawyers). The length of the interviews is 40 minutes.
Moreover, from March 2006, interviews at the 0ita Consultation Room have been started in order to respond to clients’ requests in Oita prefecture.
In order to analyze complaint cases and discuss how to advise them, discussion meeting for the cases is held twice a month. Participators in the meetings including consultants both in charge and not in charge of cases and the Ombudsman office volunteer staff who manage the data processing. Immediately after the group discussion of the cases
at this meeting, additional support for clients is provided.
In addition, a questionnaire is given to clients two months later the interview for the purpose of knowing the action of patients and their families after advice and improving the level of consultation and support activities.

(2) Support

If some kind of support should be necessary for patients and their families to take action to solve their complaints, ‘Accompanying Support’, ‘Record Discussing Support’, ‘Medicine Damage Research Support’ ‘Consent Anatomy Introducing Support’ are provided in
response to clients’ requests.
Where a client wants to demand a medical institute to explain the medical treatment provided but feels uneasy about taking action by him or herself, ‘Accompanying Support’ is provided, by which a consultant accompanies the client in discussion with the medical
institute in order to promote their discussion. However, this support is not provided for the following purposes: to pursue any legal responsibility such as demanding an apology or compensation from the medical institute or only to accuse the medical institute
one-sidedly.
‘Record Discussing Support’ is as follows; legal and medical welfare expert consultants discuss copies of medical records and prescriptions which clients receive from medical institutes, then give effective advice in order to promote dialogue between the parties.
This type of support is most widely provided at present.
Besides, ‘Medicine Damage Research Support’ (As for the complaint which suspects side effects of medicine, Medicine Damage Ombudsperson Tie-up Meeting Fukuoka will be requested to examine technical materials which were given to a client and after the
examination, effective advice will be given to the client according to the research result.) ‘Consent Anatomy Introducing Support’ (In order to support the scientific solution of complaints about the cause of death, Consent Anatomy is introduced by the Kyushu University legal medicine lecture room (Professor Noriaki Ikeda). As well as getting comments from an anatomist immediately after the autopsy, an official report <partial examination record> will be handed to a client involved by Ombudsman office within three months, and after that, necessary advice will be given to clients.)

(3) Recruiting and training consultants

Citizen consultants who play the main role in complaint consultation are, in principle, selected from applicants who complete the Open workshop for training citizen consultant volunteers by the board of directors of Patients’ Rights Ombudsman NPO. After being selected, the volunteers are required to deepen their knowledge about volunteer activity criteria and the ethical rules of the Patients’ Rights Ombudsman.
Moreover, in addition to field workshops such as role playing to improve consultation ability, practical workshops in discussion meeting of interview cases twice a month, some other workshops relating to patients’ rights are held.
All legal expert consultants are lawyers, however, advice on self-help support includes different methods and content from the usual legal consultation, so after being selected, workshops on the consultation system of Patients’ Rights Ombudsman and so on is provided for new volunteer staff.
Medical and welfare expert consultants have national professional certificates such as doctors and nurses, etc. and are active medical field professionals. Therefore, they do not receive complaints from clients directly but they make comments about inquiries from citizen and legal expert consultants by telephone and FAX, and also they examine complaint cases with legal expert consultants in the expert consultants meetings held once every two months.
In addition, all consultants participate in this activity as volunteers without payment whether citizen or expert consultants.