Towards universal health coverage in the context of population ageing: a narrative review on the implications from the long-term care system in Japan

Shohei Okamoto, Kohei Komamura

Research output: Contribution to journalLetterpeer-review

Abstract

The two important elements of universal health coverage—(1) enabling everyone to access the necessary health services and (2) providing financial protection from catastrophic health spending—are vital for not only healthcare but also long-term care in the context of population ageing. In this review, we provide an overview of the public long-term care system in Japan to help other countries that are experiencing (or are expected to experience) problems associated with population ageing. Japan’s approach to long-term care may not be universally generalisable, given the differences in population/geographical sizes, socioeconomic development, population ageing, and cultures across countries. However, the challenges faced by older people may be common. Japan’s long-term care system has several challenges, including financing, labour force shortages, support for people with dementia, an integrated continuum of healthcare and long-term care, and utilising services outside the purview of insurance coverage. We have provided the government’s actions and potential directions to address these challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number210
JournalArchives of Public Health
Volume80
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022 Dec

Keywords

  • Healthy ageing
  • Japan
  • Long-term care
  • Population ageing
  • Universal health coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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