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MHLW to discuss medical strategy over the next 20 years

  • 2015-02-13 15:00:00
  • , Yomiuri
  • Translation

(Yomiuri: February 13, 2015 – p. 1)


 The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW) is planning to draw a healthcare blueprint for 2035 – a set of medical policies in the next 20 years that factors in the country’s graying population and advances in medical technologies – with an eye on developing a long-term strategy for regional healthcare and slash medical expenses. MHLW Minister Yasuhisa Shiozaki will set up a panel of experts by the end of this month to get a report on the matter by summer.


 The panel is expected to be chaired by Kenji Shibuya, a professor at the Department of Global Health Unit in the University of Tokyo’s graduate school of medicine, and will comprise ten professionals in the nursing care and international humanitarian aid fields. The ministry will likely ask Yoshitake Yokokura, president of the Japan Medical Association, to help the panel formulate a vision as an advisor.


 Japan’s medical spending has come to around 40 trillion yen a year and is growing by about 1 trillion yen each year. The government has been working to rein in outlays through such initiatives as a medical insurance reform.


 The panel will discuss what a medical system should look like in 20 years’ time by looking into snowballing medical expenses. Other topics to be discussed include the development of general physicians capable of diagnosing various diseases in rural areas and the establishment of a system to analyze medical records for efficient health advice to patients.

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