Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and health minister Keizo Takemi agreed Wednesday to lower the country's official medical fees by 0.12% in fiscal 2024.

The reduction in the official prices for medical services paid to hospitals and drugstores under the public health care system will be reflected in the government's budget for the year starting April.

This marks the fifth consecutive reduction in the medical fees, which are reviewed every two years.

Under the agreement, the government will raise labor costs for medical workers by 0.88%, while lowering drug prices by 1%.

The medical service fees will be hiked at a faster pace than the 0.43% climb in the previous fiscal 2022 revision. The drug prices will be lowered based on the difference with market prices.

In addition to the medical fees, the government will raise its official fees for nursing and disability welfare services by 1.59% and 1.12%, respectively, in fiscal 2024 to deal with soaring prices and wage hikes.