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[Event Report] The 32nd Special Breakfast Meeting “Japan Healthcare Policy” (Mr. Hiroto Izumi, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister)(Aug. 1, 2016)

[Event Report] The 32nd Special Breakfast Meeting “Japan Healthcare Policy” (Mr. Hiroto Izumi, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister)(Aug. 1, 2016)
On July 14, 2016, Health and Global Policy Institute hosted a breakfast meeting entitled, “Japan’s Health and Healthcare Strategies,” featuring Hiroto Izumi, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, as the guest speaker, along with other relevant experts.

The meaning of longevity and surrounding issues
The population of Japan has decreased by 270,000 people since last year. Japan is now an ultra-aging society, ranking among the top countries in the world in terms of life expectancy. This issue of how to close the gap between years lived and healthy years lived has become a major topic of discussion for Japan.

The period of time prior to the three and half years that the Abe administration has been in power is often called “the lost 20 years.” Japan faced issues including a high corporate tax rate, an inflated yen, increasing electricity costs, labor regulations, energy and environmental restrictions, and delayed action on EPAs and so forth. These problems eventually led to major reforms. Looking toward Japan’s future, the most fundamental issues for this country are the low birthrate, the rapid aging of society, and reductions in the size of the labor force as a result of the declining population. Improvements in productive innovation, the promotion of facility investment, and the maintenance of the labor force are essential for economic growth sustainability.

Among these three points, concerning to the maintenance of the labor force especially, efforts to increase female participation in society and bring elderly people back into the labor force will have the most immediate impact and be easiest to gain public support for. We could kill three birds with one stone and achieve individual, family, and social happiness if we could create a healthy society in which people live long lives and in which the elderly can maintain their health while working. The prolongation of a healthy life is the number one key point for guaranteeing sustainability in Japan’s economic growth.

Healthcare strategy plan
In 2014, a Cabinet decision was issued on healthcare strategy by the Prime Minister as the leader of the Headquarters for Healthcare and Medical Strategy Promotion. That decision established the Agency for Medical Research and Development (AMED) along with a research and development promotion strategy for the healthcare field. This cross-agency initiative was smoothly realized because it was created by an administration that has held power over a long period of time.

For Japan, as a pioneering problem solver and because it is becoming an ultra-aging society ahead of other countries, it is important to create the world’s most advanced medical technologies and services and further bolster expectations related to health. In light of this, four main points were established for the health and healthcare strategy.

The four pillars of health and healthcare strategy
1.Medical field research development
2.New industry creation
3.Overseas expansion of healthcare
4.Promotion of ICT for Healthcare


In addition, Japan intends to put 26 trillion yen into the healthcare strategy market by 2020 as part of the Japan Revitalization Strategy. This strategy can be summarized into the following five points.

Five points of the Japan Revitalization Strategy
1.Advocate for health promotion and disease prevention services not included in insurance schemes
2.Decrease burdens on care providers through the active use of robots and sensors
3.Individualize health services through the application of the Internet of Things (IoT)
4.Thoroughly transform ICT in the healthcare and caregiving fields
5.Develop and internationalize pharmaceutical products and medical devices


The creation of new industry in order to realize a healthy long-lived society
In addition to the existing healthcare and caregiving services covered by public insurance, we hope to provide next-generation healthcare services via multi-layered industrial structures within health organizations and private enterprises, and we wish to build a foundation for a healthy society.

There are various regulations and “gray zones” for services not covered by insurance that compliment health and caregiving services. As a result of eliminating these gray zones, we have been able to establish new industrial activities for complimentary services outside of insurance schemes. We will continue to work on eliminating gray zones.

Health and Healthcare Internationalization and Foreign Health Diplomacy
Japanese style healthcare bases, which focus on providing governmental support to developing nations, has been established in a total of 19 locations during 2016.

We are providing not only infrastructure support through the creation of facilities and so forth, but also policy support based in the experiences of Japan up until now. For instance, we are helping other countries with caregiving insurance and maternal child health record keeping practices. We are strategically promoting this as one part of our diplomatic strategy, which incorporated human security.

The G7 Ise-Shima Summit (May 27, 2016) saw the announcement of the G7 Ise-Shima Vision for Global Health. Under this vision, we will promote international collaborations and support for developing countries to strengthen global health architecture for public health emergencies and bolster insurance systems toward Universal Health Coverage (UHC). We will also enhance drug resistance countermeasures.

We will also soon see the compilation of the Asia Health Vision targeting Asia. There are also efforts underway to promote the international development of nutrition improvement projects via public and private sector collaborations. In addition, AMED has opened three offices in Singapore, the U.K, and the U.S. in order to collect, analyze, and share information on foreign technology.

Next Generation Healthcare ICT
Medical treatment invoices are now done digitally almost 100% of the time. As the use of digital invoicing continues to increase, we are aiming to standardize and digitize all data related to health-related outcomes. In order to do so, highly trusted data collection methods are needed. Strict rules that can protect individual confidentiality need to be in place as well.

Conclusion
Healthy longevity is crucial to long term economic sustainability. This is true for not only Japan, but developing and developed countries as well. We would like to develop methods used in Japan within environments overseas especially as a means of contributing toward the establishment of UHC in developing countries.
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Exhibition date:2016-07-14

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