[In the media] Discussing healthcare fees in earnest – Will the charge be 20%? 10%? The changing face of elder healthcare (BS TV Tokyo, Nikkei Plus 10 Sunday, November 30th, 2019)
date : 12/20/2019
HGPI Board Member Mr. Kohei Onozaki appeared on BS TV Tokyo’s Nikkei Plus 10 Sunday as a commentator on the late elderly healthcare system. He discussed increasing out-of-pocket costs for late elderly people, fixed fees for medical examinations, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, and self-medication.
Pointing out that Japan made its biggest mistake in healthcare policy when healthcare was effectively made free for elderly people in 1973, Mr. Onozaki stressed that out-of-pocket costs for examinations have been kept extremely low for elderly people. He said the percent charged must be increased to 20% as soon as possible.
Commenting on implementing a fixed fee for medical examinations, Mr. Onozaki commented, “It is a powerful drug, and we may need measures for low-income individuals, but a fixed fee is necessary. And not a ‘one coin’ (500 yen) amount – from the perspective of financial reconstruction, we will need to charge ‘one bill’ (1,000 yen).”
Concerning over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, Mr. Onozaki stressed that it is necessary to cancel insurance coverage for cold compresses* immediately.
*Cold compresses are used for minor pain relief, particularly muscle aches and sprains. Although they are readily available at retail in Japan, they are commonly prescribed by doctors.