Research Areas & Themes ( 2013 ): Social Issues

Research on international comparison of health reform

Project Leader
Project Member(s)
Project Overview Health reform has been highlighted as a major policy issue in many countries, including the U.S., China, the U.K., the Netherlands and Australia, and various approaches have been used. However, there has been no research that has compared these approaches to analyze and evaluate the global trends in health reform. We will develop proposals that can contribute to debates on Japan's health reform by making use of our connections in the U.S. health community and personal contacts of Professor Jeffrey Braithwaite of the University of New South Wales in Australia, who serves as a CIGS International Senior Fellow.

Research on social welfare

Project Leader
Project Overview CIGS published in 2011 estimated financial data for social welfare corporations running welfare facilities throughout Japan. This has prompted interested parties, including related government officials, to recognize the need for a second basic structural reform of the social welfare corporation system. To meet this need, the project will study ways to reform governance at companies engaged in social welfare services and to improve their efficiency. The study will consider all kinds of welfare systems, including those for public assistance and the relief of people with disabilities.

Survey of trends in healthcare-related industries

Project Leader
Project Overview The Cabinet Office's Medical Innovation Council seems to be in favor of leading-edge technologies, such as genome-based drug development and induced pluripotent stem cells. It looks as if the members are taking advantage of the need for innovation to justify their acquisition of government funds for their own research projects. In contrast, studies on medical innovation are not limited to advanced technologies in many other countries but extend into the vision of systems for providing medical services. We will examine trends in healthcare-related industries from the viewpoint of innovation.

Health technology assessment: The impact and challenges for value-based policymaking

Project Leader
Project Member(s)  ・ 
Collaborator(s) Makoto KOBAYASHI (Director, CRECON Research & Consulting Inc.)
Project Overview

The project aims to develop methods to quantitatively evaluate the impact of medical innovations based on the value of health technologies which are available or will be available at the market of Japan. It includesthe following specific topics:

1) Conducting an analytical research
a) To develop an analytic model and evaluate the impact of medical innovations in terms of economic evaluations. (Joint research with Dr. Makoto Kobayashi and others)
b) To compare the HTA databases between Japan and other Asian countries, and to identify the problems (Takashi Sugimoto, Dr. Surasak Saokaew [visiting research fellow from Thailand], and a visiting foreign research fellow [expected from the Philippines])

2) Writing articles and a technical book
We will publish our research results by writing articles on the academic journals related to HTA, as well as publishing a technical book for HTA.

3) Organizing an international symposium
Following the first HTA international symposium last fall 2012, jointly hosted with the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Public Policy, we will organize the second one, which will also commemorate the tenth anniversary of the first Asia-Pacific Conference of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR) in Kobe 2003.

4) Holding a study group meeting on HTA
We maintain a study group meeting per month, which serves as a sequel and extension of the study group convened for the managers in healthcare industry, and will discuss the issues associated with the potential introduction of HTA by the government in 2014, while identifying the needs for HTA from the industry perspective towards innovation.

Research on information disclosure and distribution for correcting information asymmetry

Project Leader
Project Overview Many social and economic problems are attributable to what has been called "information asymmetry". To realize true democracy where the public is independent, it is essential to ensure accountability in a manner that protects the public and society from information asymmetry. In order to allow the public to make better decisions, national and local government need to show greater transparency with finances and information in the public interest. In 2013 our project seeks to summarize past public accounting reforms and identify challenges involved.

Research on the administrative structure and municipal finances (research on who is to assume public responsibilities in citizen autonomy)

Project Leader
Project Overview Many leading economies introduced welfare states after World War II, but their recent finances have forced them to restructure their state administration through privatization and decentralization. Nowadays, the entire society is required to assume public responsibilities. In order to have an efficient and effective societal structure, there needs to be a discussion on the balance between expenditure and services; the roles of the public sector, private enterprises, new entities like NPOs and social enterprises, in addition to citizens in order to agree on an efficient governance system. In 2013 our project will identify recent changes in the allocation of public responsibilities as well as in the administrative structure. With respect to the collection of taxes and fees as a revenue source to enable governance, we will examine the problems experienced by the government when collecting taxes and the possibility of a change to a joint collection system.

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