Message From the president

 Message from the Reappointed President

 Hidetomo Nakamoto
 Department of General Internal Medicine, Saitama Medical University

I was reappointed as the president of the Japanese Society for Dialysis Therapy (JSDT) at the board meeting held on June 28, 2018. In continuation with my mission of the last two years, I would like to do my best again, along with the members of the society, for the future of dialysis therapy. I appreciate your continued support and encouragement.

The JSDT was founded in 1968 as a voluntary academic association named Dialysis Research Association . In 1985, it was renamed the Japanese Society for Dialysis Therapy. The society was approved as an incorporated association in 1993 and has subsequently developed into the current JSDT. With revision of the corporate forms accompanying the public interest corporation reforms, the JSDT became a general incorporated association on September 3, 2012.

At present, the JSDT has 17 000 members (including individual, facility, and supporting members) and is one of the major societies in Japan. The JSDT academic meetings and annual meetings are known for providing an academic forum that enables approximately 20 000 medical professionals engaged in dialysis therapy in Japan to come together. Many participants engage in enthusiastic discussions each year. I am honored to serve as the president of such a major society in Japan. In particular, the JSDT celebrates the milestone of the 50th anniversary of its foundation as the Dialysis Research Association in 2018, and I think that 2018 is a new starting point for further development of the JSDT towards the future.

More than 50 years have already passed since the widespread dissemination of dialysis therapy for life prolongation and rehabilitation of patients with end-stage renal disease. Our predecessors’ tremendous efforts have resulted in great advances in dialysis therapy in Japan. 
As a result, Japan has become one of the world’s dialysis superpowers. While receiving dialysis therapy, many dialysis patients continue to play active roles in society. The prognosis of dialysis patients is known to be better in Japan than in any other country. 

However, several major problems have been encountered, that would necessitate major changes in dialysis therapy in Japan. For example, the annual rate of increase in the number of dialysis patients has slowed down due to the increasing number of elderly patients on dialysis, the medical costs have increased due to increasing number of dialysis patients, and medical treatment for terminally ill patients has been discussed. 
In particular, the aging of dialysis patients and the increase in the number of dialysis patients with complications are major problems that we are likely to encounter in the near future. I would like to discuss with the members how the JSDT should address these problems.

A new Medical Specialist System for doctors was started in 2018. However, the future direction of the subspecialty is still unclear, because the Japanese Medical Specialty Board  has not announced its final policy. The JSDT has not yet been approved by the Japanese Medical Specialty Board and is still undergoing interviews by the Board.

Currently, the JSDT Committee for the Medical Specialist System takes the initiative in working towards the establishment of new programs for medical specialists, so that the JSDT can be approved by the Board as early as possible. To design programs that would comply with the policy of the Board is one of the most important tasks for the JSDT.

In addition, there are several certification systems in the field of nursing, such as for special nurses (those who can carry out special medical practices) by the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, for nurses by the Japanese Nursing Association, and Dialysis for Leading Nurses by the Japan Academy of Nephrology Nursing. In clinical engineering, there are certification systems for special clinical engineers by the Japan Association for Clinical Engineers and for dialysis technical engineers by the Dialysis Therapy Joint Committee (consisting of the Japanese Society of Nephrology, the Japanese Urological Association, the Japanese Society for Artificial Organs, the Japan Society for Transplantation, and the JSDT). The roles of such certification systems will also be discussed in relation to the careers of nurses, clinical engineers, and nutritionists. I believe that the JSDT should explore the roles of the Medical Specialty System in collaboration with outside societies, such as the Japanese Nursing Association, the Japan Academy of Nephrology Nursing, the Japan Association for Clinical Engineers, and the Japanese Society for Technology of Blood Purification. This is the time to reexamine the roles of the certification systems. Also, the direction of the JSDT should be clarified soon.

The database on the results of the JSDT statistical surveys in Japan is well recognized worldwide and is expected to be further enriched in the future. The preparation of guidelines has also been requested by people in many fields. To this end, the JSDT is responsible for disseminating original evidence gathered in Japan to the world. We propose to promptly enrich and improve the contents of statistical surveys.

Moreover, the tilted balance in relation to the situation, in that the numbers of peritoneal dialysis patients and transplant recipients are much smaller than that of hemodialysis patients, has been pointed out. We would like to address such existing problems in collaboration with related societies, such as the Japanese Society of Nephrology, the Japanese Society for Peritoneal Dialysis, the Japan Society for Transplantation, and the Japanese Society for Clinical Renal Transplantation. The most appropriate medical environment for patients with renal failure in Japan will be pursued in order to provide them with optimal medical services. I would like to express my appreciation for the cooperation of patients, members of the JSDT, and all professionals related to the provision of medical services for renal failure, as well as for the support of related societies, associations, and companies.

June 2018