February 9 2022
TOKYO – A Japanese government panel Wednesday proposed that fertility treatment be covered by the country’s public health insurance program as part of efforts to tackle the declining birthrate.
The Central Social Insurance Medical Council, which advises the health minister, sought the coverage in its proposal on the fiscal 2022 revision of the official medical service fees, adopted at a general meeting in the morning.
The council also called for raising initial consultation fees that medical institutions collect from those seeking online diagnosis, hoping to promote online medical examinations, currently allowed in exceptional cases amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.
This will be the first medical service fee revision since the coronavirus began to spread in Japan in 2020. The fees are revised every two years in principle.
The council’s proposal includes fee changes to facilitate the resolution of problems highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis and promote cooperation among medical institutions as the country’s “dankai” first baby boomers started turning 75 this year.