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Act on Special Measures concerning Securing of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services
(June 27, 2007)

(Act No. 103)
166th Ordinary Diet Session
Cabinet of Prime Minister Abe

The Act on Special Measures concerning Securing of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services is hereby promulgated.
Act on Special Measures concerning Securing of Helicopter Emergency Medical Services

Article 1 (Purpose)
The purpose of this Act is to facilitate the establishment of a system to efficiently provide high-quality emergency medical services in an appropriate manner by taking special measures to ensure helicopter emergency medical services (hereinafter referred to as “HEMS”) on a nationwide basis, taking into consideration the important roles that the use of helicopters for emergency medical services plays in rescuing sick and injured persons and alleviating aftereffects, etc., and thereby contribute to the maintenance of the health of the people and efforts to realize a society where people can live with a sense of security.


Article 2 (Definition)
For the purpose of this Act, the term “helicopter for emergency medical services” refers to the following:
(i) A helicopter that is equipped with such instruments and medicines as are necessary for emergency medical services; and
(ii) A helicopter that is stationed, as a facility of a hospital providing high-level medical services, at a place within the site of such hospital or other place where the doctors of the hospital can readily board such helicopter.

Article 3 (Aims, etc. of Implementation of Measures concerning Securing of HEMS)
1. The measures concerning securing of HEMS shall aim at making arrangements on a nationwide basis in light of the actual conditions of the respective areas to transport a sick or injured person to a medical institution or to such other place promptly with a doctor on board the helicopter for emergency medical services in order to swiftly reach the location of the sick or injured person and to provide the necessary medical services at such location or on the helicopter using the instruments or medicines carried on the helicopter.

2. When the measures set forth in the preceding Paragraph are implemented, attention shall be paid to the following, depending upon the actual conditions of the respective areas:
(i) The cooperation and collaboration with the fire departments, the Japan Coast Guard or other relevant institutions shall be sought as necessary when transporting a sick or injured person to a medical institution or such other place.
(ii) Contributing to providing emergency medical services at remote sites; and
(iii) Developing a framework of cooperation and collaboration beyond prefectural borders.

Article 4 (Matters prescribed in the Basic Policy of the Medical Care Act)
The Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare shall prescribe matters concerning the procurement of HEMS in the basic policy set forth in Paragraph 1 of Article 30-3 of the Medical Care Act (Act No. 205 of 1948) (hereinafter referred to as the “Basic Policy” in Article 5, Paragraph 1 below).


Article 5 (Matters prescribed in Medical Programs)
1. When the prefectural governments provide for the securing of HEMS when establishing medical programs pursuant to Paragraph 1 of Article 30-4 of the Medical Care Act and the Basic Policy and in light of the actual conditions in the affected areas pursuant to the provisions of the said Paragraph, or when changing such programs pursuant to the provisions of Article 30-6 of the Medical Care Act, the following matters shall be set forth:
(i) Matters pertaining to the objectives of the prefectural government concerning the securing of HEMS;
(ii) Matters pertaining to the hospital providing HEMS (hereinafter referred to as “the Hospital”); and
(iii) Matters regarding the cooperation of the relevant parties set forth in Article 6 below.

 

2. In the event of the circumstances described in the preceding Paragraph, when it is determined that HEMS needs to be secured beyond the border of the neighboring or adjacent prefecture(s), the prefectural government shall conduct all necessary communications and coordination in advance with the governments of the prefectures concerned.


Article 6 (Measures concerning Cooperation of Related Parties)
For each area where HEMS is provided, the prefectural government shall take all necessary measures concerning cooperation of the relevant parties. Such measures shall include, but are not limited to, establishing a consultative forum consisting of the doctors of the Hospital, the fire departments, prefectural and municipal government employees, academic experts in the medical services field and other related persons, who shall prepare the standards set forth below:
(i) Standards concerning the communication of such matters as the condition of the sick or injured person to the Hospital for dispatch of the relevant helicopter for emergency medical services; and
(ii) Standards concerning arrangements for communication between the fire department, etc. and the Hospital regarding the dispatch of the helicopter for emergency medical services.


Article 7 (Securing of Landing Site for Helicopter for Emergency Medical Services)
The national, prefectural and municipal governments, road administrators (including those authorized by the road administrators to act in their place) and other relevant persons shall endeavor to extend necessary cooperation when requested to do so in order to secure a landing site for the helicopter for emergency medical services.


Article 8 (Subsidies)
1. Prefectural governments may subsidize the managers of hospitals for a part of the expenses incurred in providing helicopters for emergency medical services.

2. The national government may subsidize prefectural governments for a part of the expenses of the subsidies described in the preceding Paragraph in accordance with the provisions of the Cabinet Order and within budget limitations.


Article 9 (Registration of a Legal Entity for the Provision of Subsidies)
1. A nonprofit legal entity intending to operate a project of provision of subsidies to
manager of hospitals to defray expenses incurred in providing helicopters for emergency medical services as stipulated in the ministerial ordinance of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (hereinafter referred to as “Provision of Subsidies”) may obtain registration from the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare.

 

2. The following legal entities shall not be eligible for registration under the preceding Paragraph:
(i) A legal entity whose registration was cancelled pursuant to Article 12 hereof and a period of two years has not elapsed since the date of such cancellation; or
(ii) A legal entity for which the officer in charge of the relevant operation was the officer in charge of the legal entity whose registration had been cancelled pursuant Article 12 hereof within thirty (30) days prior to the cancellationand a period of two years has not elapsed since the date of such cancellation.

 

3. The Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare shall register a legal entity who submits an application for registration under Paragraph 1 hereof provided that the criteria set forth below are satisfied:
(i) The legal entity sets up a dedicated fund for operating the project of Provision of Subsidies that satisfies the requirements set forth in the ordinance of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, and applies to such fund the total amount of the investments made by entities other than the national and the prefectural governments under the condition that such investments be applied to defray the expenses necessary for Provision of Subsidies; and
(ii) The legal entity conforms to the standards stipulated by the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to satisfy its requirements as an entity to appropriately and securely implement Provision of Subsidies on a nationwide basis.

Article 10 (Submission of Report or Materials)
The Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare may require legal entities registered under Paragraph 1 of the preceding Article to submit operational and financial reports and materials necessary to ensure the appropriate and effective implementation of Provision of Subsidies.


Article 11 (Guidance and Advice)
The Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare shall endeavor to provide necessary guidance and advice to the legal entity who obtained the registration under Paragraph 1 of Article 9 hereof in order to ensure that Provision of Subsidies is implemented in an efficient manner.


Article 12 (Cancellation of Registration)

The Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare may cancel the registration of a legal entity under Paragraph 1 of Article 9 hereof if it comes under the following circumstances:
(i) Registration under Paragraph 1 of Article 9 hereof was unlawfully obtained;
(ii) The requirements set forth in Article 9, Paragraph 3 are no longer satisfied;
(iii) Failure to submit or submission of a false report or materials provided for in Article 10 above; or
(iv) Commission of a violation of this Act or any of orders issued under this Act.


Article 13 (Public Notice)
When registration under Paragraph 1 of Article 9 hereof is made or registration under the said Paragraph is cancelled pursuant to the provisions of the preceding Article, the Minister of Health, Labor and Welfare shall issue a public notice to such effect in the Official Gazette.


Article 14 (Delegation to Ministerial Ordinance of Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare)
In addition to the registration requirements set forth in Articles 9 through 13 hereof, the matters necessary for registration under Paragraph 1 of Article 9 hereof shall be set forth in the ordinances of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare.

 

Supplementary Provisions
(Effective Date)
1. This Act shall take effect on the date of promulgation; provided, however, that the provisions of Articles 9 through 14 shall come into force on the day to be designated by Cabinet Order within one year from the date of promulgation.
(Effective April 1, 2008 pursuant to Cabinet Order No. 60 of 2008)

 

(Applying Health Insurance and Other Compensatory Insurance Programs to Defray Expenses)
2. Taking into consideration such matters as the effect of provision of HEMS and appropriate allocation of the burden of costs incurred for the provision of HEMS, the national government shall examine the possibility of defrayment under the provisions of the Health Insurance Act (Act No. 70 of 1922), the Industrial Accident Compensation Insurance Act (Act No. 50 of 1947) and other statutes concerning medical services benefits with respect to the portion of the medical examination expenses included in the expenses for the provision of HEMS, and shall, when it deems it necessary, take necessary measures based upon the outcome of such examination.