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Kishida inspects hospital in northeastern Japan

Prime Minister Fumio Kishida visited a hospital in northeastern Japan on Sunday to learn firsthand about 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.

Kishida told reporters that it is important to increase the use of the My Number cards with the functions of health insurance certificates to provide better medical services.

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 remained low at 6.56% in April.

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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