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2014年5月26日 (月)

がん患者の就労 治療との両立支援が必要だ

The Yomiuri Shimbun 7:07 pm, May 25, 2014
Cancer treatment must be partnered with employment security for patients
がん患者の就労 治療との両立支援が必要だ

The number of cancer patients who have both the motivation and the ability to work has been markedly increasing. It is essential to ensure workplace environments that are conducive to helping people with cancer maintain both their medical treatment and their careers.
 働く意欲と能力のあるがん患者が増えている。働きやすい職場環境を整え、治療と仕事の両立を支えることが重要だ。

The five-year survival rate of people diagnosed with cancer has currently improved to nearly 60 percent due to medical advances, according to the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry. The number of those who have undergone treatment while being employed is about 320,000 nationwide, the ministry said.
 厚生労働省によると、医療の進歩により、がん診断後5年の生存率は6割近くに向上した。働きながら治療しているがん患者は32万人に上る。

Meanwhile, the number of working-age people who develop cancer has surpassed 200,000 annually. A survey has shown that one out of every three cancer patients on the payroll at the time of diagnosis has quit work or been fired. Many such patients have presumably been leaving their jobs involuntarily.
 一方で、働く世代でがんになる人は毎年20万人を超えている。診断を受けた時点で勤務していた人の3人に1人が退職や解雇で職場を去ったとの調査もある。多くのがん患者が、やむなく仕事を辞めているのではないか。

The problem is that no more than 10 percent of the nation’s businesses have addressed the task of fully supporting employees with cancer to ensure their employment, such as by exempting them from working overtime. More than half the country’s firms are believed to have failed to even assess how many of their employees have been diagnosed with cancer, mainly because management often finds it difficult to inquire about such personal matters as employees’ health problems.
 問題は、残業の免除など、がん患者の就労支援に取り組む企業が1割にとどまることだ。半数以上はがんと診断された従業員数も把握していない。病気という個人情報に立ち入りにくいためだ。

The fact that cancer has now become a “protracted chronic disease” and that there are a large number of cancer patients capable of working has not been sufficiently recognized by society yet. There seem to be many cases in which workplaces considered it only natural for an employee to quit if diagnosed with cancer. Patients often fail to tell their colleagues or superiors about the disease due to fear of their reactions.
 がんが「長く付き合う慢性病」となり、働ける患者もいることが、社会に十分認識されていない。職場でもいまだに退職して当然と思われていたり、本人が周囲の反応を心配して、病気のことを言い出せなかったりする。

Many success stories

Cancer therapies and changes in a patient’s physical condition can differ among individuals, but there are numerous instances of the disease becoming relatively stabilized after a certain period of time. Many people continue working in posts of responsibility while seeing a doctor regularly. The government should redouble its efforts to disseminate accurate information about cancer and promote public awareness.
 がんの治療経過や体調の変化は人それぞれだが、一定期間を過ぎれば比較的安定する場合が多い。通院しながら、責任ある立場で働いている人も少なくない。政府は、がんの正しい知識の普及・啓発に努めてもらいたい。

For patients in the working-age population, continuing to work can help them find a reason to live and motivate them to continue treatment. In addition, some may find it necessary to keep working due to the high cost of treatment.
 働く世代の患者にとって、仕事は生きがいや治療の励みになる。高額な治療費負担のため、働かざるを得ない事情もある。

Under its Basic Plan to Promote Cancer Control Programs, established by the Cabinet in 2012, the government has cited measures to support working-age cancer patients, such as helping expand their employment opportunities, as a high-priority task.
 政府も、2012年に閣議決定した「がん対策推進基本計画」で、就労支援など働く世代への対策を重点課題に掲げた。

A trial program that began in fiscal 2013 assigns counselors to Hello Work public job placement offices to oversee searches for job openings suited to cancer patients’ circumstances. A system has also been launched to dispatch counselors who specialize in helping cancer patients, sending them to patients’ homes from hub medical institutions for cancer treatment. Such support measures should be expanded.
 昨年度からは、ハローワークに専門相談員を配置し、患者の状況に応じた就職先を開拓するモデル事業が始まった。がん治療の拠点病院で専門相談員が出張相談を行う取り組みも進めている。こうした支援策を広げるべきだ。

Of course, the intermediary role that businesses will play in this area is highly significant.
 無論、企業の役割は大きい。

Many patients appear to want flexible vacation and temporary leave of absence systems designed to accommodate their medical treatment needs, including paid time off on an hourly basis and shorter working hours. Corporate systems should also be created to make it easier for employees with cancer to candidly consult their superiors on such matters as lighter workloads or job transfers, with medical specialists taking part.
 患者側は、時間単位の有給休暇取得や短時間勤務制度など、治療に合わせて使える柔軟な休暇・休職制度を要望している。産業医らを交え、仕事の負担軽減や配置転換などを率直に話し合える体制作りも望まれる。

It is further necessary to beef up efforts for the prevention and early detection of cancer by such means as increasing the percentage of company employees who undergo cancer examinations.
 併せて、がん検診の受診率向上など、予防と早期発見の取り組みを強化する必要がある。

Given that the graying of personnel is certain to advance, as the years of employment have been extended at many workplaces, the number of cancer patients who continue to work is bound to increase further in the future. Enabling patients to keep working in accordance with their motivation and physical strength will also help maintain the vigor of society and the national economy.
 雇用延長で職場の高齢化が進み、働くがん患者は一層増える。意欲と体力に応じて働き続けてもらうことは、社会・経済の活力を維持する上でも役立つだろう。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, May 25, 2014)

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