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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 September 28 - October 4  > Out-of-pocket medical costs at hospitals doubled for elderly
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2022 September 28 - October 4 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Out-of-pocket medical costs at hospitals doubled for elderly

October 1, 2022

The Japanese Communist Party took to the street in Tokyo's Sugamo, a famous shopping district for the elderly, on September 30 in protest against the doubling of out-of-pocket medical costs at hospitals starting on October 1 for the elderly aged 75 and older who have a certain amount of income.

JCP Secretariat Head Koike Akira said that as many as 3.7 million elderly persons will be affected and that about 188 billion yen in their benefits will be reduced a year which means, he added, "An elderly person will annually lose 50,000 yen."

Koike criticized the government for raising medical charges for the elderly when commodity prices are rising and for cutting its payments of pension benefits while refusing to lower the consumption tax rate. He said, "Such regressive government measures will discourage elderly people on fixed incomes from going to see a doctor and will adversely increase government medial expenditures with a possible increase in deteriorating health of aging people."

The government explains that the doubling of elderly's out-of-pocket medical costs is to ease the burden on working-age people. However, Koike pointed out, "Public health insurance premiums the working generation will pay will be reduced only 60 yen a month or 700 yen a year. The bottom line is, the government just wants to reduce its expenditure for social security."

An 81-year-old woman who happened to see the JCP rally said, "I will probably have to refrain from visiting my doctor. I want our tax money to be used for social security."

Past related article:
> Over 830K signatures submitted to oppose imposition of heavier medical burdens on elderly people [September 22, 2022]

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