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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 April 16 - 22  > 40% of low-income earners are hesitant to go to see doctor
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2008 April 16 - 22 [POLITICS]

40% of low-income earners are hesitant to go to see doctor

April 16, 2008
A survey has found that about 40 percent of low-income earners in Japan are hesitant about going to see a doctor.

The “Health Policy Institute, Japan”, a non-profit organization that conducted the survey, on April 15 said that 31 percent of the respondents said they refrained from going to medical institutions during the past year for economic reasons even though they had health problems.

It found that 39 percent of low-income earners whose yearly household earnings are less than three million yen were discouraged from going to the doctor for the same reason. Compared to 18 percent of high-income earners (earning more than eight million yen) who answered in the same manner, the gap has more than doubled.

Furthermore, 16 percent of the low-income earners said they declined to receive prescription medicines because they could not afford to pay for them. This is in sharp contrast with high-income earners’ rate of two percent.

The NPO stated, “The ‘gap’ between rich and poor is conspicuous. The reality does not reflect the idea of ‘equality’, which used to be the foundation of the Japanese healthcare system.”
- Akahata, April 16, 2008
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