Shin-Ichi Nitta, Honorary President of the Japanese Association for Alternative, Complementary and Traditional Medicine

Conversion to medical care centered on care

── Integrative medicine is a form of futuristic medical care, isn’t it?
Speaking of futuristic medical care, there are calls for a shortage of human resources such as doctors and nurses in the current medical field. However, traditional medicine has not been able to join the medical team due to lack of national qualifications. I think it is necessary for people involved in alternative medicine to be part of medical care and treat patients.
When I was the president of the Japanese Association for Alternative, Complementary and Traditional Medicine, I wanted to offer such people a new curriculum that included nursing practice, physiology, and clinical experience, and qualify them as integrative medicine specialists or health coordinators; and ultimately, I wanted to make it a national qualification. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen during my tenure, but I’m sure it will happen in the near future.

── If that happens, the medical field will change dramatically.
That’s right. In terms of change, preventive medicine is attracting attention due to the soaring medical costs. Whether to treat illness or to prevent illness, we need to try to prevent or slow down the progression and reduce the national medical expenses. Therefore, what is important is the shift from a cure (treatment) type to a care type of medical care.
Nurses have many opportunities to interact with patients in the medical field. Therefore, in addition to merely providing nursing education centered on care, a system that builds a care-type nursing system so that the time spent on nursing is reflected in the number of medical treatment points is needed. In the future, just as doctors manage various hospitals, I think it is necessary to have a system that allows nurses to manage care-type medical facilities. In fact, the Comprehensive Community Care System implemented in each local government may be doing something similar to this.