社説:外国人介護士 春、さらに門戸を開け

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スラチャイ

(Mainichi Japan) March 30, 2012
Editorial: Japan must be more humble toward foreign care workers
社説:外国人介護士 春、さらに門戸を開け

Thirty six applicants passed the first care worker exam held for foreign care workers under Japan's Economic Partnership Agreements (EPAs) with Indonesia and the Philippines. While the passing rate, at 37.9 percent, was higher than the 11.3 percent passing rate of Indonesian and Filipino nurses applying for Japanese nursing qualifications under the same agreements earlier this year, the number is still far from ideal.
 EPA(経済連携協定)に基づく初の介護福祉士試験で計36人のインドネシア人とフィリピン人が合格した。合格率は37.9%(全体は63.9%)。今年初めて11.3%になった看護師試験に比べれば格段に高いが、手放しでは評価できない。

Accommodations to the applicants appear to have been made recently in the exams, including the use of furigana superscripts and the additional notation of English translations of disease names. The questions themselves seem to have become more of a practical nature. But still, technical words in Japanese appear frequently, and sentences can be difficult to decipher.
 難しい漢字にふりがなを付け、病名には「認知症(dementia)」と英語が併記されるなど試験問題には配慮が見られるようになった。設問自体も実際の業務に役立つようなものが目立った。それでも腫脹(しゅちょう)、疾病罹患(りかん)、仰臥位(ぎょうがい)などの専門用語は多く、文章もまだわかりにくい。

The half-hearted nature of the exam modifications is evident in the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare's review of vocabulary. Expressions have been altered, but they are kept at a halfway point between "technical" and "simple," when "simple" would do just fine. Care workers deal with elderly people whose judgment and communication skills have become impaired. It is important that care workers get information across to their clients in easy-to-understand ways, and to intuit thoughts that clients may have trouble expressing clearly. How can a national exam that is meant to assess whether an applicant is qualified for this job, not employ clear enough language itself?
 中途半端は厚生労働省が示した用語の見直し例に表れている。「光源を設ける→照明を設ける」「加齢変化→加齢による変化」。どうして「明るくする」「年をとることで変わる」ではダメなのか。介護福祉士は判断能力やコミュニケーション能力が劣ってくるお年寄りを相手にする仕事である。わかりやすく情報を伝え、明確に言い表せない意思をくみ取ることがとても大事だ。その資質を問う国家試験がこれでどうする。

The health ministry defends its language choices in the exam, citing "the need of care takers to use the language in carrying out duties in cooperation with doctors and nurses," and "the undermining of academic foundations or confusion in the field" as its reasons. To the ministry, does making changes to the medical field itself not occur as a viable option?
 「医師や看護師などと連携して業務を行う上で必要」「易しい日本語に置き換えると学問の体系が崩れたり、現場に混乱が生じる」と厚労省は説明する。医療現場の方を変えるという発想はないのだろうか。

Easily-understood language is necessary for patients and third parties to check on the quality of their treatment and ensure transparency. Such methods of communication can also be of use in securing informed consent. In addition, ministry officials must understand the boredom felt by students taking classes at colleges specializing in social welfare, where memorization of abstract knowledge is stressed, even while the knowledge and skills necessary in the field remain in constant flux. What sort of "academic foundations" are so important that they must be protected even if it means sucking the motivation out of students who could be future care givers?
患者や第三者が医療の内容をチェックし透明性を確保するにはわかりやすい言葉が必要だ。患者に対するインフォームド・コンセント(十分な説明に基づく同意)にも役立つはずだ。また、抽象的で形式的な知識の記憶を重視する福祉系大学の授業に学生たちがどれだけ退屈しているかも知るべきだ。現場で必要な知識やスキルは変わる。学生たちの意欲をそいでも守らなければならない学問的体系とはどのようなものだろう。

Foreign candidates go through three years of practical training at care facilities in Japan before they are allowed to take the national qualification exam. Because their stay in Japan is limited to four years, in effect, foreign candidates only have one shot at the exam. Meanwhile, even without national certification, Japanese nationals are able to work at care facilities as official employees. Foreign candidates in training, however, are not considered "employees," which means that care facilities cannot receive government subsidies to cover their salaries.
 外国人実習生は日本の介護施設で3年間実務経験をした後に国家試験を受ける。滞在は4年間に限られておりチャンスは原則1回だ。施設にとっては日本人なら無資格でも職員とみなされるが、外国人実習生は職員配置基準に算定できず介護報酬から人件費は出ない。

Because of this, the number of foreign candidates has been dropping every year. The care sector is suffering a major labor shortage, many Japanese are being forced to leave their jobs to take care of aging family members, and there seems to be no end to the tragedy of elderly people facing death alone. Our already aging society is coming upon an even bleaker reality.
このため来日する実習生は年々減っている。介護現場は人手不足に苦しみ、介護のため離職する家族、お年寄りの孤独死も後を絶たない。超高齢化はこれからが本番なのである。

The health ministry says the care worker certification program is a "special case with regards to the economic partnership agreement, and not a solution to the labor shortage," and is not quite in step with other government ministries and agencies. This contrasts greatly with full-fledged efforts by South Korea and Taiwan to acquire foreign care workers. The care worker candidates who come to Japan are professionals. They have all attained university or other advanced degrees, as well as certification as care workers, in their home countries. We must be more humble and adopt the attitude there is much we can learn from them -- not the other way around.
 厚労省は「EPA上の特例で人手不足解消策ではない」と言い、他省庁との足並みもそろっていない。韓国や台湾が外国人の介護労働力確保に熱心なのとは対照的だ。実習生たちは母国では大学など高等教育を履修し介護福祉の資格を得ているプロである。もっと謙虚になって彼らから学ぶくらいの気持ちが必要だ。

毎日新聞 2012年3月30日 2時31分
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2012-03-31 02:44 | 英字新聞

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