Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2007 November 14 - 20  > Government panel to call for lifting of a ban on ‘mixed-medical services’
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2007 November 14 - 20 [WELFARE]

Government panel to call for lifting of a ban on ‘mixed-medical services’

November 16, 2007
The Council for the Promotion of Regulatory Reform, an advisory panel to the prime minister, on November 15 decided to push ahead with the lifting of a ban on “mixed-medical services,” a system that allows patients to freely choose medical treatments covered by the public health insurance and treatments without the insurance coverage.

The panel will give priority to this policy in its second report to be compiled in December.

Kusakari Takao, the panel chair who is also NYK Line president, at a press conference on the same day said, “We will negotiate with the Health Ministry to fully lift the ban on the mixed-medical services as our most important challenge.”

The “mixed-medical services” are currently banned in principle. Except in limited cases, patients who receive treatments not covered by the insurance have to pay for the total medical cost, including that of treatments otherwise covered by the insurance.

Many medical-related organizations are opposed to the “mixed-medical services” asserting that such a system will create disparities in medical services available for those who can and who cannot pay for out-of insurance treatments.

Sumie Kenyu, president of the Japanese Medical and Dental Practitioners for Improvement of Medical Care (Hodanren), expressed strong opposition to the full introduction of the “mixed-medical services” stressing that this will intensify the problem that the public health insurance fails to cover adequate treatments for patients.

“Mixed-medical services” advocates claim that advanced treatments should be easily given to patients who can afford to pay for the cost.

Sumie, however, said that if the safety and effectiveness of such advanced treatments have been confirmed, the public health insurance should immediately cover them so that they become available to a wider range of people.

He stressed that it is unacceptable for the government to introduce a system that causes discrimination among patients based on their ability to pay while neglecting to take measures to improve the health insurance coverage.
- Akahata, November 16, 2007
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved