Health Policy Summit 2011
date : 2/26/2011
On February 26, Health and Global Policy Institute hosted Health Policy Summit 2011. The Summit is now an annual event, attended by successive Ministers of Health, Labour and Welfare together with leading figures from the healthcare field, patient groups, politics, industry, the media and more, and is convened to discuss the ideal approach to health policy issues in the year ahead.
In this, the Summit’s 5th year, numerous experts from Japan and overseas held deep discussions on health and healthcare issues, centered on a theme of “From Health Policy to Healthy Policy,” and the two key concepts of “growth strategy” and “sustainable society.”
After an opening address by Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Labour and Welfare Mitsunori Okamoto, there were discussions of a new concept of community capable of meeting the needs of an aging society and ways of achieving sustainable local healthcare. Over lunch, the theme of “The growth strategy and innovation policy needed now” was discussed at length, with ideas exchanged as to how health policy can reinforce growth strategy.
In addition, since January 2011, Health and Global Policy Institute and leading U.S. policy think tank Center for Strategic International Studies (CSIS) have jointly commenced a special research project to investigate urgent issues affecting both countries. The occasion of the Summit was used to make a first full announcement of the project, entitled “Japan-US Health Policy Project ～CSIS + HGPI Special Joint Panel～”, to consider such issues as healthcare payment systems and the utilization of healthcare IT to improve both quality and efficiency in healthcare delivery.
On the panel were Dr. Gerard F. Anderson of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Dr. Brian Biles, who served as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health in the Clinton administration, and Dr. John D. Halamka, Chief Information Officer at Harvard Medical School and Co-Chair of the Healthcare IT Standards Committee in the Obama administration. Using illustrative examples from the U.S., ways to address urgent issues in health policy in both Japan and the U.S. were discussed in detail. Building on this initial discussion, the investigation will continue over the course of the year, with a final report and policy recommendations scheduled for announcement at Health Policy Summit 2012.
The final session, with a panel of leading figures from diverse fields, including Dr. Shigeru Omi, Professor of Public Health at Jichi Medical University and Regional Director Emeritus of the World Health Organization for the Western Pacific, and Dr. Shinya Yamanaka, Director of Kyoto University’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, fostered an intense discussion of Japan’s future health and healthcare policy.