In February the Centre for Remote Health (CRH) and Poche Centre NT jointly hosted Professor Ryuki Kassai, his wife Professor Masako Ii, two General Practitioner (GP) registrars and two junior faculty members from Japan.
Professor Kassai, a GP and Chair of the Department of Community and Family Medicine at the Fukushima Medical University led the primary care response to the 2011 Fukushima tsunami that devastated the east coast of Japan, and the subsequent nuclear power station disaster.
Professor Kassai gave a CRH seminar titled: Implementing primary care policy in Japan and recovering from the disaster in Fukushima: a mission impossible? He spoke about his role after the tsunami and nuclear power station disaster at Fukushima, giving a personal account of his experience in leading the response and highlighting the ramifications of not having an established primary health care management system. Professor Kassai also spoke about his role as the Asia Pacific representative of World Organisation of Family Doctors (WONCA) Working Party on Research and how he would like to build stronger relationships between GPs from Japan, Australia and other countries.
The visit also included a tour of the Alice Springs Hospital, the Royal Flying Doctor Service, Western Desert Dialysis (Purple House), Central Australian Aboriginal Congress and Simpsons Gap.
Professor Kassai had this to say about his visit “I was very impressed by the power of Alice Springs which I feel consists of the power of the people, the earth, and the universe. I feel really lucky to have had a chance to visit Alice Springs in my lifetime, and so did my team. Thank you very much also for giving me a chance to talk about Japanese primary care and the disaster”.