Japan’s Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has announced it will be launching a new type home-visit nursing station by fiscal 2014. This is part of the government’s efforts to provide more services for the elderly and the physically challenged given the continued greying of Japan’s population.
The health ministry decided on improving the home-based medical and nursing-care services and include them in the revisions to the medical fee framework for next fiscal year. The advisory panel for health minister Yoko Komiyama, the Central Social Insurance Medical Council, will begin the discussions on various issues that will be facing the revamp of the entire system where half of the current home-visit nursing stations are expected to be turned into the new type.
Under the proposed revamp, these nursing stations will house nurses, public health nurses, physical therapists and other medical practitioners that will be sent to patients’ houses in order to monitor their vitals and assist in their rehabilitation process. Round-the-clock services will also be added for terminal care patients as well as those who are in serious condition or have intractable diseases. Some stations already provide these kinds of services but the ministry will probably be asking for additional fees in order to cover the cost of the new stations. For the bigger towns, they’re also looking into having satellite stations that will enable nurses and staff to make house calls, lessening their travel time and allowing them to visit more of the senior citizens.
By year 2025, most of the “dankai” generation or those who were born post-war, will be 75 or older. By then, the government is targeting a comprehensive regional care system that will still allow the elderly and terminal-stage cancer patients to continue living in their homes while at the same time having medical facilities available to them.
[ via Yomiuri Shimbun ]