Recently, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced he’s planning to introduce new policies related to social security, with the aim to improve economic growth.
The government will focus on three aspects of social welfare. The first of the three “arrows”, as Abe referred to them, aims to realize the largest economy since the end of World War II, with a gross domestic product of ¥600 trillion by 2020.
The Prime Minister announced his plans of raising the average number of children a woman has from 1.4 to 1.8. This measure is aimed at curbing the decline of the Japanese population. In addition, the government also announced they’re planning to create a number of new nursing facilities in order to eliminate the need for people to leave their jobs to take care of their parents.
Even though small changes have already been made, Abe insists that a fundamental reform is necessary to guarantee long-term growth. By creating new social policies, the Japanese government plans to reduce the negative factors that affect the country’s economy.
The main focus of the reforms is the impact of nursing care on the economics. With 100,000 people forced to leave their jobs to provide nursing care every year, the Japanese workforce is experiencing a serious decline. The chronic shortage of nursing care and nursing personnel leaves around 150,000 people, waiting for openings at facilities, operated by social welfare corporations or local governments. By introducing new nursing facilities, the government plans to admit as many patients, as possible and prevent people from leaving their job in order to provide nursing care to the elderly.
Some experts, however, argue that supply might breed demand and by increasing the number of facilities, the number of people waiting for admission might also increase. As of April this year, admission to nursing facilities was limited to care at Level 3 or higher (equivalent of elderly people requiring full care, including toilet support). With the new facilities, however, residents in private fee-based nursing homes and people with minor needs might also enter the facilities.
Source: The Japan News