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For three diseases, 180-day limitation on insurance-covered rehabilitation to be removed


   Rehabilitation services for patients with certain diseases will be exempted from the 180-day limitation on health insurance coverage.


   The Central Social Insurance Medical Council, an advisory body to the Health, Labor and Welfare Minister, approved the health ministryfs proposal to this effect on March 14.


   Three diseases will be exempted from the limitation: acute cardiac infarction, angina, and chronic obstructive lung disease.


@  The present 180-day limitation imposed on the health insurance coverage was introduced in April 2006 when the remuneration for medical treatment was revised. As a result, many patients have been forced to give up undergoing the rehabilitation necessary for them, which has given rise to the public outcry that the limitation be removed.


   It is unusual that such a system is reviewed before the completion of the two-year term in which the revised remuneration should take effect.


   This government step, though far from a total revocation of the 180-day limitation, has been made possible by the protest movements by patients and medical practitioners.
- Akahata, March 15, 2007


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