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Japanese hospitals struggled for profitability in FY2018: survey

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Instead of increasing my health care premiums, how about closing some of the hospitals/clinics!! There are just too too many.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

There are FAR too many clinics and hospitals here, not to mention dentists as well. But there are complaints that there are not enough students entering medical school's and there is a doctor shortage in outlying areas and outer islands.

The medical associations and government need to do a better job of locating all these clinics and make it worthwhile for the doctors to move there as well!

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The costs are rising due to the vast numbers of aged Japanese.

The prescription drugs are also vastly inflated as well!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The results of the survey by the Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry will be used to determine the size of medical service payments paid to health institutions under the public social insurance scheme. The fees will be reviewed in April.

Medical service fees are funded by taxes, insurance premiums and out-of-pocket payments by patients, and increased service fees lead to inflated medical spending and a heavier contribution burden.

There were rumours of a health insurance premium increase in 2020 and this report is the fuel to support it. However, whether or not there is any truth to this report remains to be seen.

My stepdaughter is a nurse in a smaller private hospital. She works her butt off on a six day roster with shifts of 10-12 hours. This is a common scenario in private hospitals. It makes it difficult for me to believe they are not making a profit with workers doing such extensive hours for for a simple salary.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As of October 2017, there was a total number of 8,412 hospitals in Japan, slightly down from 8,442 hospitals in the previous year. Kochi Prefecture had the highest number of hospitals per 100 thousand population during the measured time period. Total capacity of 1.5 million beds.

Japan ranks 26th among the 29 member states, with the average number of doctors being a little less than 200. “There are 260,000 medical doctors in Japan. There should be 380,000 to reach the average level of the OECD nations. We have the shortage of as many as 120,000 doctors.

300,000 beds are for long term care.

In some prefectures some hospitals and clinic have shut often in the deep countryside where that are needed by the local communities there. The staff are moved to other hospitals.

Many doctors are moved around. I was seeing one specialist doctor who travelled once a week 100 km from Kobe. About a two hour car drive.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This absurd idea where clinics are defacto social clubs for the elderly has to stop. It is wasting money that could be better used for patients that really need care. Visit any orthopedic clinic and you will see the same people there day in day out, all so the doctor can pad his expenses.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Heads of clinics earned about 28.07 million yen annually on average, while doctors at private hospitals earned about 16.41 million yen a year, according to the survey.

The average doctor running some little clinic in inaka is making 28 million yen? That's far too high. My town has one clinic per 1500 residents.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I don't really think hospitals should be run for profit, it's a public service. Japan should nationalise its health care like the UK (consistently rated no.1 in the world)

-3 ( +1 / -4 )

If I recall, many private clinics charge a lot of personal expenses like meals, entertainment, the Mercedes Benz, etc of the owners, so they’re barely break even by design.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

The prescription drugs are also vastly inflated as well!

From my experience it very much depends on the drugs' class or even product itself. OTC drugs on the other hand are a massive ripoff, i mean 10-20 x markup (sometimes more) is taking the mick.

Overall i think Japan has a pretty decent healthcare system considering the significant challenges they're facing (ageing pop, inaka vs urban areas etc). 2,500 yen for a dental check up/cleaning (used to pay aud 250.00 in oz, roughly x8), 1000-1500 yen for a gp (sort of), dermato/ortho etc consultation (300-500 yen for a 2nd visit), i mean it's pretty good!

Nurses & dental assistants are much more involved than in the west (at least vs oz/europe), which is imo a good thing. Not rare to see 2-3 'assistants' per doc (30sec-1min consultation with the dentist then 20-30min with the assistant seems to be the norm in japan. fine with me)

Is the current system sustainable though?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

As of October 2017, there was a total number of 8,412 hospitals in Japan, slightly down from 8,442 hospitals in the previous year.

And that, in itself, is a key part of how these hospitals are struggling.

In the UK, there are (as of 2019) roughly 1,257 hospitals. For a population of 66.4 million, or about 1/2 of Japan, and about 1/2 the land area.

In the USA, there were (in 2017) approximately 7,200 active hospitals. For a population of 327 million, and a land area 26 times larger.

Say what you like about the US healthcare system, it's no paragon of a system, but for there to be more hospitals and such in Japan than the USA, and for Japan to have a 'healthcare density' of roughly 3.5 times that of the UK (7 times the hospitals for double the population) is ridiculous.

Yes, there needs to be more doctors. But what the healthcare system doesn't need is more hospitals, clinics, and stuff. That's just layers upon layers of non-treatment people adding nothing to the system.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This absurd idea where clinics are defacto social clubs for the elderly has to stop. It is wasting money that could be better used for patients that really need care. Visit any orthopedic clinic and you will see the same people there day in day out, all so the doctor can pad his expenses.

This de facto social clubs for elderly you are referring to is called REHABILITATION. These elderly Japanese are also referred to as PATIENTS. These patients are suffering from orthopedic disorders among others such as Fibromyalgia, Knee Pain and Problems, Ligament Injuries to the Knee, Kyphosis, Scoliosis, Osteoporosis, Torn Meniscus, Fractures and many more not to mention the bone disease. An average person knows that these ailments require not only 1 or 2 hospital visits to heal and even if it seems to you that they are relieved from debilitation pain, they still has to undergo rehabilitation.

You are clearly making a distinction against these persons on the basis or their age in this country where they were born. And allow me to point out to you that since the establishment of National Health Insurance Act in July 1934, most of these elderly people were health care contributors for almost their entire life. And may I also add, these people paid 40~50% premiums during 1960's. Majority of these elderly people were not necessarily hospital dependent during their prime years, most hardly visited a doctor more than 12 times a year.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The average doctor running some little clinic in inaka is making 28 million yen? That's far too high. My town has one clinic per 1500 residents.

I have a very close friend who is a doctor and for several years was sent by his prefecture to run a clinic in the mountain/countryside area. Mostly older people who were unable to travel and the nearest other hospital was about 25 km. He wasn't paid more than his doctor salary. It's since been shut down and he was transferred to a hospital elsewhere. He did a great job for the local people. I visited several times.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

The prescription drugs are also vastly inflated as well!

The prescription drug prices are reasonable, especially when choosing generic. (Although, I'm comparing them to the ridiculously high prices in the US.)

However, the OTC drug and vitamin/supplement prices are insane. I always bring a bunch back with me when I go to the US. Plus, they're usually at a much lower strength, as well.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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