Universal Health Coverage and Primary Healthcare: Lessons From Japan; Comment on “Achieving Universal Health Coverage by Focusing on Primary Care in Japan: Lessons for Low- and Middle-Income Countries”
Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, UK
A recent editorial by Naoki Ikegami has proposed three key lessons from Japan’s experience of achieving virtually universal coverage with primary healthcare services: the need to integrate the existing providers of primary healthcare services into the organised health system; the need to limit government commitments to finance hospital services and the need to empower providers of primary healthcare to influence decisions that influence their livelihoods. Although the context of low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) differs in many ways from Japan in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the lesson that short-term initiatives to achieve universal coverage need to be complemented by an understanding of the factors influencing long-term change management remains highly relevant.
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