Tokyo, May 23 (EFE).- The Japanese government will offer special medical care to those carrying out decontamination work at the troubled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, public broadcaster NHK reported Monday.
Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare launched the measure to address the growing number of workers engaged in the lengthy decontamination and clean-up operations at the plant in northwestern Japan, which has doubled to 6,000 in the last two years.
The plant's operator Tokyo Electric Power (TEPCO) and its contractors are responsible for the medical examinations of the employees.
However the Japanese government hopes the new service will offer extra help in covering the needs of workers with health problems, according to the broadcaster.
The health ministry will send public doctors and nurses specialized in treating radiation sickness to the plant in early July.
The medical professionals will offer advice on preventing illnesses like heatstroke and others caused by high temperatures, typical of the humid Japanese summer when temperatures normally exceed 35 degrees Celsius.
The risky nature of the decontamination work at the nuclear plant has led to a shortage of workers and TEPCO has been often criticized over the working conditions for its employees, who come from 800 different contractors.
In October the government acknowledged the first case of cancer in a Fukushima plant employee as a direct result of his work at the plant after the 2011 nuclear catastrophe.
Some 44,000 people have been involved in efforts to resolve the nuclear crisis and dismantle the plant.
Of those, at least 170 people have been exposed to high doses of radiation which increase the risk of cancer, according to data from of the government which recommends lifelong medical check-ups for the majority of the workers. EFE
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