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The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry plans to increase payments from the nursing-care insurance system to private care providers by 30 percent beginning April 1, according to a proposal unveiled earlier this week.

The proposal would mark the first revision to the system since it was introduced in April 2000. The revision is expected to be endorsed by the Social Security Council in a meeting to be held Monday.

Under the new rate, a home helper visiting the elderly to provide domestic help and personal nursing service would receive 2,080 yen for between 30 minutes and one hour of work.

The plan would redefine home helpers’ job criteria to include so-called life support, involving physical nursing, such as changing diapers.

While the proposal would lower insurance payments to nursing homes with shared rooms, payment to residential-type special nursing homes with private rooms would increase.

The proposal would grant a 10 percent pay increase, to 2,310 yen, for physical nursing work that takes less than 30 minutes. However, the current rate of 4,020 yen for the same work conducted for between 30 minutes and an hour, and for such work taking more than an hour, earning the helper 5,840 yen, would not change.

Monthly rewards for so-called care managers, meaning those who provide plans for nursing-care services, would remain at a flat 8,500 yen, regardless of the degree of care required by the elderly.

Care managers would receive an additional 1,000 yen if they combine more than four types of services, but their reward payout would be slashed by 30 percent if they do not visit the elderly or the arranged plan is deemed too monotonous.

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