Japan Press Weekly
[Advanced search]
Past issues
Special issues
Fact Box
Feature Articles
Mail to editor
Mail magazine
HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 February 6 - 12  > High blood pressure patients to be excluded from health checkups under new medical-care system for the elderly
> List of Past issues
Bookmark and Share
2008 February 6 - 12 [WELFARE]

High blood pressure patients to be excluded from health checkups under new medical-care system for the elderly

February 8, 2008
As a measure to curb increases in medical costs, the Health Ministry has instructed prefectural governments to exclude elderly people who are taking designated medications from eligibility for the public health examinations.

The ministry intends to implement this policy in line with the planned introduction in April of a new medical-care system for the elderly aged 75 or more. The new policy will adversely affect as many as 2.9 million elderly people in the age group who are currently eligible for the health examinations.

On February 6, the Health Ministry told local governments officials that they need to decrease the number of elderly people aged 75 or older who are eligible for the health checkups.

It instructed them to ask those elderly people who want to take the health examinations if they take one of three medications: medicine to lower blood pressure; insulin injection or medicine to lower blood sugar; or medicine to reduce cholesterol. Those who reply “Yes” will be automatically regarded as having the necessary health examinations for lifestyle-related diseases and thus should be excluded from those eligible for the public health examinations, the ministry said.

Pointing out that the failure to decrease the number of people who are eligible for health checkups will lead to increases in the medical costs, a Health Ministry official stressed the need to carry the weeding out process effectively in order to meet tight budget restraints.

This new policy must be withdrawn since the automatic recognition of those who are taking medications as already treated will increase the risk of failure in finding other health problems.
> List of Past issues
  Copyright (c) Japan Press Service Co., Ltd. All right reserved