I received a visit from a group of petitioners who were hospitalized patients, and received a request to urge the government to make necessary arrangements for all the hospitals in Japan to set up a Wi-Fi network in the inpatients’ respective rooms. They explained to me that even their family members are not allowed to visit them as a measure to prevent the coronavirus infection, and that they want to at least use their personal computers or smartphones, etc., but Wi-Fi network is not available in their rooms.
When I asked them whether the Wi-Fi network would cause interference with the radio wave of the medical equipment in the hospital, they said they had already received a favorable response subject to the safety arrangements concerning the Wi-Fi network from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), and also from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) which is in charge of the matters related to the radio wave. Now that I understood their intention, I called the Minister for Promoting Dynamic Engagement of All Citizens Tetsushi Sakamoto, who is familiar with the public welfare, and asked him to meet them and if possible, take necessary measures. Currently, the Minister’s scope of work has expanded to include poverty and suicide issues. Some of the inpatients have disabilities. It must be really difficult for them to be hospitalized for a long period of time. Taking into account the availability of the government’s large-scale budget for the prevention of the coronavirus infection, I believe the government will surely be able to allocate a part of its budget for setting up a Wi-Fi network in the inpatients’ respective rooms in all hospitals in Japan. I will do my best to achieve this purpose by consulting with the ministries in charge.