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[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)

[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)

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.

 

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