Kazuo Ogino, chairman of the Japan Federation of Medical Device Associations, has asked the government to prioritise the allocation of power supplies to medical device factories that manufacture mechanical ventilators, oxygen devices, defibrillators and other products vital for human life.
Rolling blackouts, which began on Monday, 14 March, in Japan’s nine prefectures have intensified concerns among medical device manufacturers. Ongoing power outages could prevent them from ensuring a stable supply of life-supporting medical devices.
“The power outage of three hours has seriously damaged the production capacity of these [facilities]. We would like you to give special consideration to this situation, and secure necessary power for them,” Ogino urged the government.
In his written request to the health minister and minister of economy, trade and industry, Ogino, writing on behalf of the federation, also notes that the acute shortage of gasoline has hampered JFMDA’s member companies from dispatching medical devices to affected areas. He asks that adequate gasoline be secured for emergency vehicles.
The government approved temporary power outages starting on Sunday, 13 March, to prevent a massive blackout in the wake of the deadly earthquake and tsunami that struck northern Japan.Miki Anzai