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Message from the President

春日雅人
CV

The National Center for Global Health and Medicine (NCGM) became a National Research and Development Agency in April 2015. Our second year has begun and we are expected to exert further efforts in maximizing our achievements in research.

Our focus areas have been in the areas of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases and contagious diseases such as AIDS, diabetes and metabolic diseases, hepatitis and immunological diseases as well as international health cooperation. However, when we consider enhancement of both domestic and international health, we must construct and deploy medical services that meet the international standards based on a comprehensive medical care system that covers the major clinical divisions. We also must implement and enable equal accessibility for holistically advanced medical care based on team-based medical practices, while also promoting research and development that aims to conquer diseases.

When we trace the history of NCGM, it began as an affiliated hospital to the Military Medical Doctors’ Hospital built near the Yamashita Gate of the Imperial Palace in 1868, the first year of Meiji era. Later it was established as the First Tokyo National Hospital before becoming the National Medical Center Hospital. After going through several organizational consolidation and reorganization, NCGM has grown to become a National Research and Development Agency, a form of independent administrative institution in April 2015.

One of our unique features, as apparent from our historical background, is that we are constituted from a variety of institutions such as the Research Institute, Center Hospital, Kohnodai Hospital, Center for Clinical Sciences, Bureau of International Health Cooperation and the National College of Nursing. This allows us to implement comprehensive medical care from the fundamental studies to clinical trials in an integrated flow and function as a teaching institution in educating young physicians and nurses. Taking advantage of these unique features, we aim to further promote our clinical research and trials that follows this integrated flow. We are also expecting to expand further with our comprehensive medical care function to implement a more holistic approach to medicine. As a National Research and Development Agency, we are expected to actively engage in clinical trials, physician-led clinical trials and specified clinical research.  We will continue to endeavor in enhancing our clinical research center to meet this goal and establish “research development” as our unique feature.

Another feature exclusive to NCGM is that we are “international”. We have been providing healthcare assistance mainly to developing countries consistently for over 30 years. As a result of our assistance, we have dispatched more than 3,800 specialists to over 140 countries. We have also accepted more than 4,500 overseas interns from 150 different countries. Fortunately, these performances have brought us high acclaim both at home and abroad. In September 2014, we formulated a global medical strategy and the Center Hospital will be taking an initiative to provide high-quality medical care services for the international community. This encompasses reinforcement of cross-sectional collaboration of all sections including the Bureau of International Health Cooperation, the Center Hospital and the Research Institute in addition to our conventional activities. Moreover, bearing 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics in mind, we are striving to improve our medical services to become more friendly for non-Japanese patients. We are also setting a goal in developing the hospital to meet the international standards in terms of medical quality and safety. As a part of the standardization processes we established an International Health Care Center within our hospital and have acquired the Japan Medical Service Accreditation for International Patients (JMIP) in 2015. Our next goal is to obtain accreditation of Joint Commission International (JCI), an international health care assessment body. Moreover, in 2015 we accepted Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare’s “Medical Technology International Development and Promotion Project” to support both domestic and international activities that contribute to international development of Japanese medical technology and system. In addition to this, we also established a “Global Health Policy Research Center” in the Bureau of International Health Cooperation to reinforce the think tank function of international health in 2016.

Our newest addition, the Medical Genome Center (MGC) will inaugurate in 2016. There are a total of six National Advanced Medical Research Centers (National Centers) including the NGCM in Japan. These centers are unique organizations and are all established as national research and development agencies while also simultaneously operating as hospitals. Their characteristics are the “accumulation of medical cases”, “continuity of research projects” and “functions as hospitals”. By taking advantage of these unique features, these six National Centers conduct bio repository projects that perform analysis on clinical information and DNA. The MGC is expected to use such analysis and provide genomic medicine to benefit patients.

All at the NCGM are committed and striving to meet the goals mentioned above. We sincerely appreciate your continuous support and understanding.

April 2016

Masato Kasuga, MD, PhD
President
National Center for Global Health and Medicine