Japan Medical Expenses Hit Record 42.6 T. Yen in FY 2018

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Sept. 26 (Jiji Press)--Japanese national medical expenses hit a record 42.6 trillion yen in fiscal 2018, up 0.8 pct from the previous year, a health ministry preliminary report said Thursday.

The growth in the expenses paid to medical institutions for treating diseases and injuries reflects the country's aging population and an increased use of expensive advanced medical technologies and drugs, a ministry official said.

In the year that ended in March, low-priced generic drugs, promoted in an attempt to curb medical expenses, accounted for a record 77.7 pct of the combined amounts of patent-protected drugs and their generic counterparts used, up 4.7 percentage points.

The preliminary national medical expenses comprise payments from the public health insurance system, other public expenses and out-of-pocket costs paid by patients. Excluded are costs related to workers' compensation and medical expenses paid fully by patients without relying on funds from the insurance system.

Of the total, medical expenses tied to hospitalized patients accounted for 40.6 pct, reaching 17.3 trillion yen. Those related outpatients accounted for 34.2 pct, at 14.6 trillion yen.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press