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[Event Report] The 31st Special Breakfast Meeting “Health Care Reform and Japan Vision: Health Care 2035″ (Mr. Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare)

[Event Report] The 31st Special Breakfast Meeting “Health Care Reform and Japan Vision: Health Care 2035″ (Mr. Yasuhisa Shiozaki, Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare)
On November 26, 2015, HGPI hosted a special Breakfast Meeting featuring Health Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki to discuss “Japan Vision: Health Care 2035” and health care reform.

■Background of “Japan Vision: Health Care 2035”
Global society is focused on how Japan, a super-aged society, is reforming its health care system. In January 2015, I attended the Davos Forum as a Minister of Health Labour and Welfare of Japan, where I realized how much the world is looking to Japan.

We then formed the Japan Vision: Health Care 2035 Advisory Panel with Professor Kenji Shibuya as Chair Person. The Panel was composed of experts, government officials from the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare (MHLW), and people from the private and public sectors with an average age of 42.7. There were also four health care specialists who served as advisors including Dr. Yoshitake Yokokura, president of Japan Medical Association.

The Panel’s goal was to define the long-term vision of health care in Japan. MHLW has been focused on 2025, yet a longer term view is necessary. Therefore, we decided to project to 2035 and consider what is required to build a health care system for next 20 years. We also considered detailed, realistic recommendations to achieve those visions.

■Paradigm shift
The recommendations consist of a vision with three components, five infrastructure elements and 120 recommendations in detail. The recommendations are based on a paradigm shift and the five changes required of a paradigm shift. For example, a shift from quantity to quality is proposed that suggests transforming the input-focused fee-for-service system to an outcome-focused system that integrates patients’ needs and values. Shifting from government regulation to autonomy is also an important change when considering the future of health care.

■Three components of the vision
The vision is comprised of three components or themes. The first is known as “Lean Health Care.” This refers to a health care system that limits waste and performs at a high level of quality, safety and efficiency at lower cost.
The second is known as “Life Design.” This emphasizes the need for the health care system to empower people to make the health care choices that are best for them while supporting them to play an active role in maintaining their health. Reforming the health care system to meet the needs of communities can also prevent serious diseases, ad support healthy communities.

The third component is known as “Global Health Leader.” In 2016, the G7 summit will be held in Ise-shima, Japan in May and the G7 Health Ministers Meeting will be held  in Kobe in September. The world expects Japan to lead the world in the field of health care and global health as it has done at past G7 meetings hosted by Japan.

■Promotion Headquarters
A promotion headquarters of Health Care 2035 was established at MHLW in August 2015 to work through the recommendations, which were divided into three categories. The first category includes recommendations to be implemented immediately, the second includes those that require further consideration prior to implementation, and the third includes those that will not be implemented, but bring the discussion forward. A work plan schedule is also planned for the near future.
Five of the most important issues include outcome assessment, tobacco-control, disease prevention and ICT. To further work on these issues teams that include Panel members, have been established to move discussions forward at MHLW.

We also established two committees comprised of outside experts to hold discussions on global health and health care ICT. Because these areas are two pressing topics, I look forward to the recommendations these committees draft.

Today’s health care issues are not limited to Japan, but extend to countries around the world. A summary of the recommendations of “Japan Vision: Health Care 2035” has been published in international journals, including The Lancet. Through these recommendations, Japan can develop sustainable systems and achieve a healthy aging society. In this way, Japan also can contribute to global health.

Links for Reference
Japan Vision: Health Care 2035 Executive Summary
Japan Vision: Health Care 2035 Website

Exhibition date:2015-11-26

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