If only poverty and ignorance can be managed ..." Redbeard and Honebuto have the same policy.


  [New Gate] is a corner where reporters unveil seasonal news. The theme this time is "social prescription".

The problems of poverty and loneliness are becoming more serious due to the new coronavirus disease. As one of the measures, the government's basic policy on economic and financial management and reform (a bold policy), which was approved by the Cabinet last month, included the unfamiliar word "social prescription." What kind of initiative is it?

The power of the community to heal loneliness

 If we can manage poverty and ignorance, most of the illnesses will not occur. Shugoro Yamamoto's popular novel "Redbeard" Medical treatmentShinryotan "Akahige," a doctor from the Edo period who works at a relief facility for the poor. New departureCome on However, a scene is depicted in which he speaks to an apprentice doctor as follows.

 "The words of Redbeard are still relevant today. There is a limit to the prevention and treatment of illnesses by providing accurate diagnosis and cutting-edge medical care. It is necessary to solve the social factors behind it. I want the next generation of medical professionals to know that there is something. " Professor Yuko Takeda (Medical Education) of Juntendo University School of Medicine points out.

 People who discontinue treatment may have a difficult life, and those who visit frequently may have loneliness. Social prescriptions focus on the social factors behind physical and mental disorders such as poor diet, housing, discrimination and isolation due to poverty.

 It's not just about prescribing medicines. Connections with people who can talk casually, volunteers who can make use of what they are good at, and public support can be "medicines" to relieve physical and mental disorders. The idea of ​​social prescription is to work with medical personnel and local residents to deal with these problems through connections with people and the power of the community.

Introducing circles and public support

 Originally popular in the UK, the word for social prescription itself is a literal translation of the English word "Social Prescribing." In the UK, it was specified in the report of the Ministry of Health in 2006, and now it is a public system in which "link workers" who are close to the person and connect to appropriate support are active.

 In recent years, even in Japan, it has begun to spread among some medical institutions and doctors and nurses who are active in the area. Focusing on the poverty and loneliness surrounding people with physical and mental disorders, he has practiced social prescriptions in cooperation with social workers, public health nurses, and residents who are familiar with the actual conditions of the region.

 For example, at the Utsunomiya City Medical Association in Tochigi Prefecture, family doctors are aware of social issues that affect the health of patients, so "Have you ever had trouble paying your household budget in the past year?" Use the questionnaire sheet that asks, "Is there anyone who can easily ask for problems?" We have created and promoted a database that allows you to search for club activities in the area where patients are connected and public support.

The key is to secure a bearer

 In Korona-ka, the influence was concentrated on vulnerable people, and the problems of loneliness and isolation became more serious.

 The government's priority plan, which was decided at the end of last year, stipulates that unwanted loneliness and isolation from society "should not be left to self-help efforts," and includes a policy to promote social prescription. The challenge is to create a system that allows these "prescriptions" to be received in any region.

 The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare started a model project in FY2009. This is an attempt by family doctors to find out the social issues that patients have and to cooperate with public health nurses to connect them to activities in the community, triggered by "specific medical examinations" to prevent lifestyle-related diseases.

 Securing a bearer is also a key. In Professor Takeda's seminar, medical students participate in support activities for foreigners living in Japan, street sleepers, and children in poor families, and gain an understanding of the public support system and private organizations to connect with. It is deepening.

 It is also important to spread the idea of ​​social prescription and to enliven grassroots efforts by local residents such as club activities to heal loneliness and volunteer organizations.


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