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The government and the ruling parties have decided to raise the medical fees paid to medical institutions for doctors’ services by 0.38 percent from fiscal 2008. The upward fee revision is the first since fiscal 2000, but the margin of the raise is too small to stem the collapse of medical services, especially in the countryside. In accordance with a belt-tightening policy started by the Koizumi administration, these fees have either declined or leveled off.

Fees for drugs and medical instruments during and after fiscal 2008 will be cut by 1.2 percent, reducing total medical fees by 0.82 percent, a fourth consecutive reduction. Medical fees are revised roughly every two years.

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