The Central Social Insurance Medical Council on Feb. 12 decided on a new payment plan for medical services under public health insurance, which is revised every other year. The fee charged for patients' first visits will be raised by ¥120 to ¥2,820 and the fee for additional visits will be raised by ¥30 to ¥720.

In fiscal 2014, the average medical fee will be raised by 0.1 percent. When the portion to cope with the consumption tax hike from April is taken into account, the fee goes down by 1.26 percent.

What is important about the latest revision is that it is designed to help make preparations for a medical service system that will be functioning properly by 2025, when all postwar baby boomers are at least 75 years old.