Japan Press Weekly
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Medical associations in 10 prefectures oppose discriminatory healthcare for people aged 75 and older
In 10 out of the 47 prefectures in Japan, prefectural medical associations have come out and said that they are opposed to the new health insurance system that puts the elderly aged 75 and over in a separate insurance program which forces them to pay for the premiums and restricts insurance coverage to certain medical services.
Akahata conducted a telephone survey of the prefectural medical associations throughout the country from April 16-18.
On April 1, the day the system started, only Ibaragi Prefectural Medical Association was resolutely opposed to it.
More prefectural medical associations have come to express their opposition amid growing public calls for the new medical system to be abolished or repealed.
Medical associations are pointing out that the system forces the elderly to pay more, that it neglects the weak in order to cut the nationfs medical costs, and that it is a blatant case of discrimination in healthcare based on a specific age group.
In 20 prefectures, medical associations are either opposing or calling for grestraint or prudenceh in calculating medical treatment fees, as the computation will lead to restricting medical services for people aged 75 and over.
They feel that the revised fees may bankrupt many medical clinics due to a cutthroat competition for patients. -Akahata, April 20, 2008
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