Japan’s healthcare system may seem great optically but it is heading for a crisis. Looking through the MHLW’s White Paper it is plain that the economic burden with an aging population is surging. Someone aged 65yo+ costs 12x what a 20yo costs in medical bills. By 2035 40% of Japan’s population will be aged over 65. Current medical costs total 41 trillion yen. Japan raises 97 trillion in revenue. 58% of that is tax. 40 trillion is raised in debt markets to fill the hole. EVERY YEAR.
80% of hospitals and clinics are private so it’s ridiculous to say 95% are not for profit. The current billing system encourages hospitals to keep patients in because they can charge for it. Hospitals don’t want it changed. Hospital clinics serve as gathering places for old people causing needless cost on a shrinking pool of taxpayers.
The MHLW admitted that around 40% of costs are labour related (doctors, nurses) around 25% on building maintenance, 15% on equipment and 10% on utilities. The only place they can conceivably cut is drugs where the push to genetics has been a factor.
Yes Japan’s healthcare system works for now but it can’t be sustained as it is without wholesale change. With a shrinking tax pool and aging population the dam will burst. Note the Ministry of Justice has had to ask for 6bn in extra funding for increased medical costs for an aging population inside its prisons where 65yo+ are the highest demographic.
Liberals are rarely good with numbers.