Panel Proposes Fee to Encourage Hospitals' Work Style Reform

Society Lifestyle Politics

Tokyo, Feb. 7 (Jiji Press)--A panel that advises the Japanese health minister drew up Friday a set of proposals on fiscal 2020 revisions of government-administered medical service fees, including creating a fee to support work style reforms for doctors at emergency hospitals.

According to the proposals, submitted to health minister Katsunobu Kato the same day, the Central Social Insurance Medical Council called for the creation of a new fee that emergency hospitals can charge for the first day of hospitalization.

With correcting the long work hours of hospital-employed doctors seen as an urgent task ahead of an overtime limit for doctors to be introduced in fiscal 2024, the fee would be applied to emergency hospitals that have accepted a certain number of emergency patients and are making efforts to understand how doctors work and alleviate burdens on them.

The measure, aimed at encouraging hospitals to tackle work style reforms, may lead to higher out-of-pocket burdens for patients.

With a view to supporting flexible work styles for health care professionals, the panel also proposed revisions allowing hospitals to charge an add-on fee for palliative care for cancer patients if treatment is offered by more than one part-time doctor.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press