2013 Volume 7 Issue 5 Pages 245-249
Like health care systems in other developed countries, Japan’s health care system faces significant challenges due to aging of the population and economic stagnation. Advanced medicine (Senshin Iryou) is a unique system of medical care in Japan offering highly technology-driven medical care that is not covered by public health insurance. Advanced medicine has recently developed and expanded as part of health care reform. Will it work? To answer this question, we briefly trace the historical development of advanced medicine and describe the characteristics and current state of advanced medical care in Japan. We then offer our opinions on the future of advanced medicine with careful consideration of its pros and cons. We believe that developing advanced medicine is an attempt to bring health care reform in line rather than the goal of health care reform.