Let's block Koizumi plan and establish medical care reform: JCP

To foil the Koizumi Cabinet's new medical care policy that will inflict unprecedented hardship on the people, the Japanese Communist Party published a three-point proposal to ensure a reliable medical care system.

Shii Kazuo, Japanese Communist Party chair, released this at the Diet Building on March 14.

Aimed at increasing the rate of medical charges on the salaried workers from the present 20% to 30% from April 2003, the government submitted an adverse revision bill to the current Diet session. Millions of people are now seriously worrying about soaring medical payments and their access to health care endangered. A nationwide struggle began to rise with a call that the bill must be scrapped.

Shii criticized the government for attempting to increase patients' burdens at medical facilities to discourage the people from visiting hospitals. Such a policy will prevent citizens from having "early diagnosis and early treatment," Shii said.

Koizumi's medical reform plan will only help worsen the people's hgealth conditions, increase the total medical cost, and ruin Japan's medical insurance system, he warned.

Stressing that it is necessary to stop the Koizumi plan and reconstruct Japan's health insurance system, Shii proposed the following JCP policy:

(1) Recover the reduced state share for the medical insurance system to the previous rate, so that the introduction of a 30% payment by the salaried workers' and a fixed rate payment by the elderly people can be avoided.

(2) Lower the cost of Japan's medicine, the highest in the world, down to a level equal to those in EU countries and the United States.

(3) Establish a system of "early diagnosis and early treatment" as a basis of Japan's medical care system.

Shii stated that the JCP will offer the proposal to the government, political parties, local governments, trade unions, small- and medium-sized business organizations, as well as associations of doctors, pharmacists, old people, and patients.

The JCP is resolved to organize a nationwide discussion and struggle so that such a grave adverse plan can be stopped and the JCP 3-point proposal will be realized, Shii stressed. (end)