Japan’s government urged to cut doctor fees and drug costsStaff writer ▼ | November 25, 2015
A Finance Ministry panel urged the government of Japan to limit increases in social security expenses in fiscal 2016 as the state tries to rein in the costs of a ageing society.
Ageing society Social security-related expenses in Japan
Social security-related expenses account for the largest slice of a budget request for the fiscal year starting April 1. The health ministry is asking for an increase of ¥670 billion in medical and other spending on top of an overall request of ¥30.67 trillion.
To curb expenditure, the panel called for a review of medical service fees and pharmaceutical costs.
The panel said fees for doctor services need to be lowered in addition to drug prices. A cut in the fees would be the first in 10 years.
A 1 percent cut in the official medical service fees would push down the country’s annual medical costs by ¥430 billion. ■