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[Event Report] The 54th Breakfast Meeting: Health Care for the Next 20 Years [Japan Vision: Health Care 2035]

[Event Report] The 54th Breakfast Meeting: Health Care for the Next 20 Years [Japan Vision: Health  Care 2035]
Health Care for the Next 20 Years [Japan Vision: Health  Care 2035]

On July 24, 2015, HGPI hosted a Breakfast Meeting featuring Professor Kenji Shibuya, Chair of the Japan Vision: Health Care 2035 Advisory Panel, a health care advisory panel established by the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare to form a vision of health care in Japan for the next 20 years. Professor Shibuya discussed the vision created by the Panel and the recommendations that were officially presented on June 9, 2015. Health care sustainability over the next 20 years was the focus of the discussion.


Kenji Shibuya (Professor, Department of Global Health Policy, Graduate School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo; Chair, Japan Vision: Health Care 2035 Advisory Panel)

Kohei Onozaki (Board Member and President, HGPI; Member, Japan Vision: Health Care 2035 Advisory Panel)

Date and Time:

July 24, 2015, 8:009:15 am


Kobeya Sylphide, GranAge Marunouchi

(Pacific Centry Place (PCP) Marunouchi 1F, 1-11-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-0005)


Summary (Titles omitted)

1.    Summary of Japan Vision: Health Care 2035 (Onozaki)

Why focus on 2035?

Over the next 20 years as the 65 and over population grows and the overall population shrinks, Japan’s demographic shift will bring growth and diversification of health care needs that will require greater resources. With the limited resources being put into the health care system, we need to closely examine regional differences and healthcare needs and develop an adequate healthcare system that meets the needs of the society and is affordable.
While, health care technology is expected to make significant progress by 2035, healthcare reform takes a long time. Considering the cases in Germany and the US, it takes at least 5 to 10 years or it could even take 50 years to implement reform. However to date, there have only been health care system visions to 2020 and 2025. Taking this into consideration, we have now crafted a longer-term vision of health care that extends to 2035.

Features of the Health Care 2035 Advisory Panel: Diversity of members

With Professior Shibuya as the Chair, the members consisted of knowledgeable persons and government officials from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW).  Team members were younger than usual (average age at 42.7) and the collaboration of people from the private and public sector made this group an example of multi-sector cooperation. There was also great support from those in the health care field.

Features of Health Care 2035: Ingenious review process

Discussions were held off-the-record (Chatham House Rule), making discussions honest, free, and vigorous.
Even though discussions were time-limited, discussion time totalled approximately 100 hours, including official and off-site meetings. Additionally, approximately 20 individual meetings with intersted persons and advisors were held and we gathered opinions from the public.


Feature of the Health Care 2035: Output and Speed

We developed a website that is easy for the public to understand.  And we put great effort into releasing the summaries both in Japanese and English at the same time (The full report is currently being translated into English).
Furthermore, two weeks after the announcement of the Japan Vision: Health Care 2035, we contributed articles to Keizaikyoshitu and Nihon Keizai Shimbun. A paper was also submitted to the Lancet.


2.    Summary of the Health Care 2035 (Shibuya)

Background of 2035

Considered that the world is increasingly paying attention to Japan’s health care and as Japan’s health care has reached a turning point, I decided to accept the offer to become the Chair of the team. We started by discussing whether to maintaining the existing healthcare system brings good health care. At the start, I already had some goals for outcomes of Japan Vision: Health Care 2035, including chosing 3 main points, developing the website, and sharing our report with the world in English.

Free disussion among younger members

The team consisted of several younger members because it was thought that those who will be still working in 2035 can provide a more realistic perspective to the recommendations. Including women was also essential as women’s perspectives are particularly important for health care issus.
Without an existing framework and restrictions, we discussed health care’s turning point and the direction of reformn. We interviewed top senior officials in the MHLW and gathered opinions from the public, some of which are in the recommendations of the report. It was interesting to receive innovative ideas from government officials. The team grew strong and well-bonded over the three months it took to formulate and create the reports, leading to a number of important ideas and opinions to emerge.

Feature of the Presenting concrete examples

In the report, we tried to avoid ambiguous phrases as much as possible and tried to give concrete examples.
However, the concrete examples that are stated in the report, are examples only.  Discussions with various stakeholders are necessary.

Expectation for the Health Care 2035

I would like many people, especially doctors, nurses and those at the forefront of health care to read the report, discuss it and share their innovative ideas.
žPromotion Headquarters are expected to be established.* Even when the Health Minister is changed, I would like work on this to continue.

*On August 6, 2015, first meeting of promotion headquarters was held. (URL available Japanese only)



Health Care 2035 seems to address health care policy very directly. What is the most critical point?

I have long considered social system reforms, including reforms to community building and working style, and a paradigm shift in health care that factors in social determinants of health as critical. Therefore, I am glad that these aspects are in the recommendations. These are not easy to change, however, these recommendations will be the beginning of change.


Making ”better healthcare at affordable prices” available is also important
. For example, innovations that produce results that are twice as good at an extremely low cost are necessary. These are important for sustainability both in finance and healthcare.

Ezoe (MHLW, Member of the Health Care 2035 Advisory Panel):
The main points, from my point of view, are healthcare, prevention, and global. I have been witness to the silos that exist within the system prior to the Health Care 2035 Advisory Panel starting. Particularly in global health, there has been no systematic discussion and the system has been weak. Being able to include global health in the report was one of the most important points. I will address global health in the International Affairs Division of the MHLW. The Health Care 2035 report will have a great impact there.

Yamazaki (Member of the Health Care 2035 Advisory Panel):

The advisory panel was enjoyable and lively. Members and participants were able to share their own opinions and ideas thinking about our future.
The health care system is also a social system and it includes various things including individuals’ thoughts, and ways of living.There has been positive feedback from persons who are involved in health care, in the private sector, in medical care and nursing care, and in medical school. Using these recommedations as a start, we would like to encourage broader discussion.

Closing What we need to realize the recommendations of Health Care 2035.

It seems that Promotion Headquarters will be established at the MHLW and the approximately 120 recommendations will be considered thoroughly.

The recommedations include ones that are contentious as well as ones that seem infeasible at this stage. I would especially like persons in the health care field to discuss them in depth.


It would be great if the recommedations we made motivate people to take action. I would like to enable the Health Care 2035 Advisory Panel members to talk about these issues and provide a place for people to actively exchange ideas and opinions.

Exhibition date:2015-08-27

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