2009 OECD Economic Surveys: Japan 2009

image of OECD Economic Surveys: Japan 2009

This 2009 edition of OECD's periodic review of Japan's economy includes chapters on overcoming the global crisis, improving the efficiency of the banking sector, the fiscal response to the crisis and fiscal sustainability, health care reform, and the climate change policy framework.



Health-care reform in Japan

controlling costs, improving quality and ensuring equity

Japan’s health-care system has provided universal access to care and contributed to the outstanding health status of the Japanese. Public spending has been kept below the OECD average through high co-payment rates and reductions in medical fees. However, with continued upward pressure on expenditure, in part due to rapid population ageing, reforms are needed to limit spending increases through greater efficiency, while improving quality. It is essential to shift long-term care out of hospitals, reform the pricing mechanism away from pay-for-visit, increase the use of generic drugs, encourage healthy ageing and promote restructuring in the hospital sector. Quality should be improved by increasing the availability of effective new drugs and medical devices. In funding spending increases, it is important to limit the share borne by employees to avoid negative effects on the labour market. Japan may need to allow more mixed billing to enhance access to some advanced medical treatments.


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