Japan Panel Members Seek to Reduce Hospital Beds to Cut Costs

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Oct. 28 (Jiji Press)--Private-sector members of a key Japanese government panel proposed Monday that the number of beds at publicly and privately run hospitals across the nation be reduced by some 130,000 as a measure to cut ballooning social security costs.

The members of the Council on Economic and Fiscal Policy, chaired by Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, made the proposal at the panel's meeting on the day, ahead of a spike in the number of people aged 75 or over that is expected to occur in fiscal 2025.

The members came up with the specific number in line with the community health care vision, in which each of the country's 47 prefecture shows the necessary number of hospital beds in 2025 based on population estimates.

"It's important to raise the quality of life by wisely using limited resources," Abe said at the meeting, calling for the promotion of social security reforms, including through the health care vision.

The panel members also proposed giving generous financial aid to private hospitals that aggressively work to reduce beds and take other reform measures, by designating the next three years or so as an intensive period for revamping hospitals.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press