Since 1984, we have operated a free medical clinic
targeted at people living outside who cannot use medical insurance
At this medical clinic (Sanyū Clinic), outside of two paid nurses, there are 10 doctors, 7 nurses, 4 acupuncturists, and 1 chiropractor that come on work days and days off. They allow us provide free medical care throughout the year.
We do not have an elaborate waiting room, but the consultation room provides a place for two or three people to sit. When it is raining, we even have people waiting outside to be examined.
We call out for “people that would like to be seen
(by the doctor),” record names, and see them on a first-come, first-served
basis. When we have them come in, as well as when they leave, many
people pay tribute by lighting incense and praying at the small corner
of the clinic where deceased friends are memorialized.
This practice of memorializing people in the corner of the clinic was begun because one person said, “If I was memorialized after I died, I would not be forgotten.”
There are two examination tables in the clinic and
patient files. It takes great skill just to pass one another in the
clinic and there are times when it feels so small to the point of
suffocation (not really, but you get the point).
We get a variety of claims from the men we serve such as coughing, a runny nose, a sore throat, a headache, a stomach ache, lack of appetite, throwing up, diarrhea, measuring blood pressure, dizziness, insomnia, and overdrinking.
Occasionally, we have patients with severe symptoms
who were brought carefully by others close by. In these cases, with
the cooperation of each individual, we have case workers consult on
what should be done with the particular person, what type of care
is possible, and what should be done to secure public aid.
There are some people who insist on getting medicine from us, even though it is the same as the medicine elsewhere. We try to understand what this means.
For people that are sleeping under a highway, they cannot sleep because of the noise, and are faced with the choice of paying for one dose of sleeping medicine versus buying a single blanket. For people in doya, or flophouses, cold medicine can serve as a charm protecting them.
We lend our ears to each person’s concerns and we explain what we can do for them at the clinic and, with their cooperation, we continue to be a place where all kinds of encounters happen.
|Clinical Content ／ a.m.||p.m.|
|Monday||Psychiatry||Acupuncture and Moxibustion|
|Tuesday||Seitai、Acupuncture and Moxibustion||Internal medicine|
|Wednesday||Seitai、Internal medicine||Internal medicine、Surgery|
|Saturday||（The third）Internal medicine