The government plans to raise the bulk of medical costs by 0.43% in its revisions for the 2022 financial year, to cover the labor costs of doctors and nurses, sources said on Sunday.
The increase will be the eighth consecutive rise in the main fee component.
At the same time, the government plans to lower official drug prices, the sources said. As a result, the country’s overall medical costs should be reduced.
The government apparently hopes to avoid citizens bearing a greater burden due to higher fees at a time when they are already suffering from the COVID-19 crisis.
Medical fees are covered by tax revenues, health insurance premiums and patients’ out-of-pocket expenses, and are reviewed every two years.
On Sunday, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida met with Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and Health Minister Shigeyuki Goto at the Prime Minister’s official residence to discuss the review of medical costs for fiscal year 2022, a key part of the compilation by the government of its budget for the financial year beginning next. April.
The government will formally decide on its tariff review on Wednesday.
Based on results released earlier this month of a survey comparing market prices of drugs and official prices set by the state, the government plans to cut official drug prices by about 1.3 percent. , the sources said.
The expected increase in most fees reflects the government’s aim to improve working conditions for nurses, as well as the start of insurance coverage for fertility treatment in fiscal year 2022. But the magnitude of the increase will be less than the 0.55% increase. seen in the previous revision, in fiscal year 2020, in part through efforts to improve the efficiency with which medical human resources are deployed.
The Japanese Medical Association has called for a major increase in the bulk of medical costs, saying many medical institutions are experiencing financial difficulties due to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, the Ministry of Finance has demanded a reduction in most of the fees, with a view to reducing medical bills.
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