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Kishida inspects hospital in Northeast Japan

Pool/Jiji Press
Prime Minister Fumio Kishida speaks at Nihonkai General Hospital in Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture on Sunday.

SAKATA, Yamagata (Jiji Press) – Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited a hospital in northeastern Japan on Sunday to learn firsthand the situation surrounding local medical services.

At Nihonkai General Hospital in Sakata City, Yamagata Prefecture, Kishida inspected reception operations for which staff numbers were reduced through the use of My Number identification cards for social security and taxes, integrated with health insurance certificates.

It is important to increase the use of My Number cards with the functions of health insurance certificates to provide better medical services, he told reporters.

The government plans to abolish existing health insurance certificates in December this year by promoting their integration into My Number cards.

But the usage rate of the integrated cards was low in April: 6.56%.

Kishida stressed that the government plans to provide financial benefits to hospitals where the use of the cards has increased, and take measures to encourage the public to use them.

Nihonkai General Hospital is working to increase its operational efficiency under a related government program.

Kishida was briefed by staff on the hospital’s efforts and said, “We will work to make regional medical systems efficient and effective from the patient’s perspective.”

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