Future Directions

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One of the central themes in today’s global health policy is the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). The recent Ebola crisis has indicated that not only responses, but preparedness is key to tackling health emergencies. There is a growing consensus that a set of low-cost, smart investments at country level has the potential to make a significant difference in building resilient health systems. Japan achieved UHC in 1961 at a time of rapid economic development, while the country was still relatively poor. Japan has achieved some of the best population health outcomes at relatively low cost with equity over half a century. However, Japan is facing a huge demographic and fiscal challenge to sustain its health system. In this module, we will review the historical context for Japan’s health system development, examine current challenges to its sustainability, and examine ongoing efforts to reform the system. The major objective is to share important lessons in current debates on global health policy and governance from Japan’s experiences.

The University of Tokyo
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