HIRONO, Fukushima -- An online crowdfunding campaign for a hospital here that was left with no full-time doctors after the death of its hospital director has reached its target of 2.5 million yen, just one day after its launch.
The campaign was set up for Takano Hospital, which is situated in the town of Hirono in Fukushima Prefecture, following the death in a house fire of hospital director Hideo Takano, 81, on Dec. 30, 2016. Dr. Takano was particularly noted for his bravery following the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant meltdowns in March 2011, as he chose not to flee, and continued to treat patients.
The online crowdfunding was initiated on Jan. 9, with the minimum donation amount set at 3,000 yen. By 7 p.m. on Jan. 10, approximately 3.05 million yen had been donated by 198 people across Japan. Tax deductions for these donations can be handled under the "hometown tax" system, and donors will receive a thank you letter from the mayor of Hirono, Satoshi Endo.
Money received from the crowdfunding will go toward covering the accommodation and transport costs of volunteer doctors who will visit Takano Hospital -- at which there are approximately 100 inpatients -- and help treat patients there. The campaign will continue until Feb. 28, and the donated amount that exceeds the 2.5 million yen target will be put toward reinforcing the medical care system in Hirono.
After seeing the swift and positive response from donors across Japan, Endo stated, "This level of generosity, from so many people across Japan, has been higher than expected. This will help us maintain local medical care in this disaster-affected region."
For anyone who would like to donate to this cause, the crowdfunding website is as follows: