Medical fees to rise 0.1% in April

JIJI

Public medical fees will be raised by 0.1 percent from the April 1 start of fiscal 2014, government officials said.

The rise is expected to generate an additional ¥40 billion for state medical-related spending, the officials said Friday.

During a review of current medical fees, the Finance Ministry sought to reduce medical expenditures in a move that was opposed by the health ministry, medical industry and lawmakers of the governing Liberal Democratic Party.

The fees are scheduled to be revised approximately every two years.

Starting in April, they will rise 0.1 percent after a 1.36 percent surcharge to cover an increase in procurement costs at medical institutions because the sales tax will be hiked from 5 percent to 8 percent that month.

If this surcharge were to be excluded, the base figure would in fact decline for the first time in six years.

Of the fees, compensation for medical treatment will grow 0.73 percent, while drug costs will fall 0.63 percent.