The phrase “house calls” could easily be called an archaic term in the medical profession; in 2024, it is unlikely that the vast majority of people in the United States have ever experienced a doctor visiting their home to provide treatment.
Even in international terms, physicians who pack their goods into the iconic black snap-shut doctor’s satchel and bring healthcare to their patients where they live, is quickly becoming a thing of the past.
But in rural locations throughout the world, and especially in remote locations that make a doctor’s appointment more akin to a journey as opposed to a quick trip to town, local doctors like Dr. Keigo Yasukawa still makes house calls. Yasukawa just does it with a twist, or actually a squeeze … of the throttle, that is.
Yasukawa, a native of Japan’s Miyakojima island – about 200 miles due east of the northern tip of Taiwan – now operates the Dr. GON clinic on Miyakojima. But many of his patients, quite a few of whom are elderly, live on even more remote parts of the island or even reside on nearby islands.
So several times a week, Yasukawa packs up the tools of his trade, loops a lanyard around his wrist, hits the start button on his PWC, and navigates the swells of the Pacific Ocean to make house calls.
Not content with even that level of dedication to his patients and his community, Yzsukawa began hiring other doctors, who also visit the remote neighboring islands to provide essential medical services.