Total healthcare expenditure makes up nearly 10% of Japan’s economy, and roughly 85% of universal healthcare is financed by social insurance and tax. Yet given the size of the national debt, it is impossible to meet all of society’s healthcare needs, making the determination of budget priorities (taking into account both cost and effectiveness) a burning social issue. Medical research can provide scientific evidence regarding the degree to which specific technologies improve health. However, how much can and should our society be prepared to pay for these solutions? Are there technologies which should be given higher priority than others? I am gathering data regarding social preferences in healthcare resource allocation, and anticipates that this information will make an important contribution to the healthcare policymaking process.
- Rei Goto, MD, PhD
- Associate Professor, The Hakubi Centre for Advanced Research / Graduate School of Economics