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Doctors in Japan oppose government plans to reform universal healthcare system

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.f5415 (Published 04 September 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5415
  1. Gavin Blair
  1. 1Tokyo

The Japan Medical Association (JMA), the largest doctors’ group in the country, which represents most private practices and local clinics, is opposing reforms of the universal healthcare system proposed by the government as part of its attempts to deregulate the economy.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who took power in December 2012, has included healthcare reform as a central pillar of the “third arrow” of his economic plans, which have been dubbed “Abenomics.”

The issue of most concern to doctors is an end to the current ban on mixed public and private treatments, which is seen as vital in maintaining the universal nature of the health insurance and care system, established in 1961. The ban means that, …

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