Japan

Total Population: 127.3 million GDP: 4.9 trillion Population Coverage: 100 percent Year Launched: 1965 Language: Japanese Membership: Associate Member

Achieving univeral health coverage.

Japan achieved universal health coverage in 1961, and the country’s investment in health has laid the foundation for sustained economic development, social stability, and the creation of a healthy middle class, which are key ingredients for sustained economic growth.

The Context

Japans's two major government-sponsored health insurance schemes include the National Health Insurance Scheme and Employees Health Insurance. The following points highlight some salient lessons from Japan’s experience:

  • Subsidies from the General Budget and fiscal transfers across programs to harmonize benefits and copayment rates across the different health insurance programs
  • Single payment system which sets prices and defines the benefits and conditions for reimbursement
  • Integration of public and private sector under single payer
  • Strong public health component

Maki Ozawa

Japan International Cooperation Agency