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HOME  > Past issues  > 2012 August 22 - 28  > JCP and medical association agree to protect universal health care system
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2012 August 22 - 28 [JCP]

JCP and medical association agree to protect universal health care system

August 23, 2012
Japanese Communist Party Chair Shii Kazuo on August 22 held talks with the Japan Medical Association (JMA) president for the first time and agreed to work to protect Japan’s universal healthcare insurance system.

JMA President Yokokura Yoshitake said, “Regarding social services, we share the same view. The JMA takes a position to work to protect the universal healthcare system in order to enable the public to access necessary medical services regardless of their residence or their economic situation.”

Shii expressed his support for the JMA’s stance specified in its opinion statement released in March, presenting major tasks to protect the universal insurance system, which include sustaining the range of treatment covering public medical services into the future.

Regarding the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) free-trade pact, Shii said, “It is encouraging that the JMA issued a statement opposing Japan’s participation in negotiations for the TPP agreement.”

The JMA president pointed out the possibility that an entry of joint-stock companies into the medical sector, an increase in drug prices, and the field of intellectual property, including medical technology, would be listed as negotiation items at the tariff-free multinational trade table. “Medical technology should be used for the public good. I feel strong concern that the technology would be used for making profits.”

They then moved onto talks about the law which was forcibly enacted by the Democratic, Liberal Democratic, and Komei parties for promoting reform of social service systems. They also talked about the burden of medical payments on patients at hospitals.

Explaining the JCP’s proposal for improving social welfare programs and overcoming the financial crisis without using revenues from the consumption tax, Shii said that the JCP seeks to decrease patients’ payment burdens at hospitals and achieve a system providing free-medical care to the general public.

Yokokura said that the patient burden of medical expenses should be decreased.
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