【Aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan】No.98: Health Examinations Conducted by Municipalities

In this column series, Yukihiro Matsuyama, Research Director at CIGS introduces the latest information about aging, safety net and fiscal crisis in Japan with data of international comparison.

In March, 2018, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare released a report on medical examinations conducted by municipalities in 2016. These examinations are conducted under an administrative service called "Community Health and Health Promotion Project," which allows citizens to undergo various health examinations, including cancer screening, at a low price.

For example, 1121 out of the 1,737 municipalities in Japan conducted a checkup for periodontal disease and osteoporosis for their female inhabitants in 2016. Table 1 summarizes the results. There is not much difference in examination results by age group as far as the dental health of the examinees is concerned. However, it is evident that the older the examinees are, the worse their osteoporosis is.

Among target citizens for cancer screening, the percentage of those actually undergoing the screening through this program was not as high as expected, and was 8.6% for gastric cancer, 7.7% for lung cancer, 8.8% for colon cancer, 16.4% for cervical cancer, and 18.2% for breast cancer. The reason for this low percentage seems to be that the employed are able to undergo cancer screening free of charge through health checkup programs covered by their employers, while those who wish for more precise examinations are willing to pay for it by themselves.

Table 1 Results of medical examination of periodontal disease and osteoporosis


(Source)Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare

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