Japan FY 2020 Medical Costs Fall for 1st Time in 4 Years

Politics Lifestyle

Tokyo, Aug. 31 (Jiji Press)--Medical expenses in Japan in fiscal 2020, which ended in March this year, fell a record 3.2 pct from the previous year to 42,164.8 billion yen, the health ministry said in a preliminary report Tuesday.

The amount of money paid to medical institutions for treating diseases and injuries fell for the first time in four years, as people refrained from going to the doctor on fears of contracting the novel coronavirus.

The decline is also attributed to a decrease in influenza and other patients as people followed such hygiene practices as wearing face masks and washing their hands amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The number of influenza patients is estimated to have plunged to about 14,000 from nearly 7.3 million in the previous season, according to the health ministry.

Expenses for inpatient treatment decreased 3.4 pct to 17,049.6 billion yen and those for outpatient treatment fell 4.4 pct to 14,207.2 billion yen.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press