‘Japanese lessons’ could help address social care crisis

The Government has been urged to look to Japan when addressing the social care crisis.

A report by the Nuffield Trust says England can learn important lessons from the Japanese social care system when looking to achieve public buy-in, an easy to navigate system and a strong focus on the prevention of loneliness and ill health.

Lead author Natasha Curry (Senior Fellow in Health Policy) said: “The cultural differences between the two countries, the very different funding systems for healthcare in both, and differences in the political setup mean that the Japanese system is not a ‘silver bullet’ to solving the crisis in social care in England.

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“But as the Government begins to ask difficult questions about the future of social care, the Japanese experience in reforming long-term care for the elderly offers some important lessons for policymakers as they seek to bring about much-needed reform in England.

“In particular, the Japanese experience suggests there is real value in embedding transparency and flexibility in the system, helping people navigate their way around it, and promoting healthy living.”

The report highlights Japan’s Long Term Care Insurance (LCTI) system, which provides universal, comprehensive to care for people aged over 65 and for those with a disability aged between 40 and 65.

The system is partly funded by a national insurance fund that all over people aged over 40 pay into and partly out of general and local taxation.

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