Japan’s medical services have achieved the world’s longest life expectancy and high health care standards, owing to the efforts of people in medical services and the universal healthcare system, and all citizens are equally enjoying the benefits from it.
However, national medical expenses have been continuously growing in line with the further progress of the aging of the population, as represented by the baby boom generation entering the old age stage, changes in the disease structure such as the increase in lifestyle-related diseases, and constant advancement in medical technologies. How we can cover those expenses is a significant issue now. Other significant issues on the table include an efficient medical service system that meets the demand from citizens, a regional medical service system centered on health care at home that is on the basis of well coordinated total health care system. It is now important issue for arguments to carify what kind of approach should be taken for the system to provide such inclusive medical services. The current medical services also pose other difficult issues for discussion, such as the advancement of science technologies, including reproductive medicine, gene therapy and regenerative medicine using pluripotent cells, as well as ethical aspects such as human dignity.
The Health Care Science Institute was established in 1990 and since then was led by the late Wataru Mori as the Chairman (former President of the University of Tokyo) over 22 years. The former Chairman, Mr. Mori, saw the importance of “health care science,” which is also incorporated in the name of our institution, from the standpoint that health care should be considered from a deeper point and in connection with humans’ true happiness, beyond a mere discussion focusing on economic aspects. I, too, am determined to carry the torch of what the former Chairman Mori pursued and achieve further development.
With a view to pursue health care of a new generation based on the social consensus, while also taking into account not only the harmony between health care and economy and the stability of long-term supply and demand, but also various issues concerning health care, the Health Care Science Institute intends to contribute to the development of Japan’s health care and welfare by playing a role of collecting insights in various fields from across Japan and providing a platform to promote discussion.
Chairman of the Health Care Science Institute