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G7神戸保健大臣会合記念企画での挨拶(英語版)

2016.10.02

Open symposium to commemorate G7 Health Minister’s Meeting in Kobe
Opening greeting
Hyogo Medical Practitioners Association Dr. Hiroyasu Nishiyama

Thank you for gathering today during such a busy time.

My name is Hiroyasu Nishiyama. I’m the Chair of the board of directors of the Hyogo Medical Practitioners Association.

 As you know, the G7 Health Ministers' Meeting was held in Kobe City, Japan on the 11th -12th of September.

 The mayor of Kobe made a presentation of leading-edge studies and innovative medical technology to the attendees.

 The G7 Health Ministers' Meeting declared the 'Kobe Communiqué', which aims to 'attain Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and promote health throughout the course of life with a focus on the ageing population.'

 The goals of UHC are to ensure that all people have access to quality health services, to safeguard all people from public health risks, and to protect all people from impoverishment due to illness, without imposing excessive burden.

 In the 'Kobe Communiqué’, it also says 'We are convinced that resilient, inclusive, affordable, sustainable and equitable health systems will lay the foundation for achieving UHC' and ‘such systems should be responsive to the specific needs of vulnerable groups such as women and girls, adolescents and children, the elderly, and refugees as well as those of immigrants’

 This is precisely the type of health system we have strived to create in Japan.

 However, the sustainability of our national health insurance program is confronted with the difficult problem of an ageing population. We believe the answer to this problem can be found by looking at other countries whose societies are also aging.

 What about the Japanese government’s measures for this problem?

 The government has positioned the medical sector as the driving force behind the Japanese economy.

 If social security is our ‘bedrock’, then Prime Minister Abe is using a drill to destroy it. This is in fact leading to an easing of checks and deregulation of public health costs.

 In other words, a brake is being put on public health care and privatization of healthcare is being accelerated.

 Recently the Japanese government has been planning to increase the medical treatment payment burden of patients.

 It is feared that many, particularly those in low income groups, will be prevented from receiving medical examinations. These policies will worsen the gap on medical care.

 Japan, with its low birth rate and aging population, has the following policies.

 To curtail the cost of social security, to estrange the weak from medical care, to deregulate privatize of medical sectors”

 Should we show these solutions to the world? Of course, the Japanese people are against these policies.

 The Kobe Medical Industry Development Project, which is a selling point of Kobe city as the host city for the G7 Health Ministers' Meeting, is a symbol of such policies.

 The medical system integrated with basic research and clinical application and commercial viability has merits. On the other hand, there are many problems. These include “The bankruptcy of the Kobe International Frontier Medical Center (KIFMEC)”, “the participation in the system of public hospitals (Kobe City Medical Center General Hospital and Hyogo Prefecture Kobe Children's Hospital)”,” Deregulation of the medical sector”,”The introduction of mixed medical care services for insured and uninsured medical treatment”,”Privatization of advanced medical care”, and “the resulting problems these issues bring up in medical ethics”.

 We, the Hyogo Medical Practitioners Association, are holding this symposium today. We want to let many people know about the problems of the importance of prospects for the national health insurance program we have developed, and the development and privatization of medical care and medicine in “National Strategic Special Zones” like “Kobe Medical Industry Development City”.

 Our guest speaker, Dr. Kimio Henmi, Chairman of the Japan Municipal Hospital Association, will give a lecture today about national health insurance program.

 Another guest speaker, Dr. Masanori Fukushima, Head of the Foundation for Biomedical Research and Innovation, will give a lecture about the progress and industrialization of medical care and medicine.

 We will also hear from Dr. Yoshito Takemura, vice chairman of the Hyogo Medical practitioners Association and vice president of the Japanese Medical and Dental Practitioners for the Improvement of Medical Care, who is well-informed about the Kobe Medical Industry Development Project.

 I would like to finish my speech by wishing for the success of this symposium. Thank you very much.

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