Japan Plans to Increase Elderly Care Fees by 1.59% in Fiscal Year 2024

The Japanese government is anticipated to boost the fees for elderly care services covered by public insurance by 1.59% in the upcoming fiscal 2024 price revision, sources revealed on Saturday. This increase would represent the third consecutive fee hike during regular revisions, which are typically conducted every three years. Notably, this rise would exceed 1% for the first time since the fiscal 2012 revision, excluding a special increase aimed at improving working conditions in the industry.

The decision to implement the 1.59% increase is expected to be finalized following negotiations between Finance Minister Shunichi Suzuki and Welfare Minister Keizo Takemi in the near future. As per a survey conducted by various entities including the Japan Association of Geriatric Health Services Facilities, the average wage increase across all industries in this year’s “shunto” pay negotiations was 3.58%, while elderly care workers’ increase was a comparatively subdued 1.42%.

Consequently, elderly care service providers are advocating for a substantial increase in the service fees to better align with the rising costs and requirements of the industry. Moreover, in addition to the fiscal 2024 revision, the government is also preparing to raise the monthly salaries for elderly care workers by ¥6,000 between February and May 2024.

The impending fee hike and salary increase are expected to address the pressing concerns regarding the financial sustainability of elderly care services in Japan, particularly in light of the country’s aging population and the corresponding increase in demand for such services. The need for quality and sustainable elderly care has become increasingly paramount, and these adjustments aim to better support both the service providers and the workers.

Furthermore, as the global landscape continues to grapple with the enduring challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of robust and reliable elderly care services has been underscored. The proposed fee hike and salary increase signify the government’s commitment to bolstering the elderly care sector and ensuring the welfare of both the elderly population and the dedicated workers who provide invaluable support and assistance.

Ultimately, the forthcoming fiscal 2024 price revision and the associated fee hike for elderly care services represent a proactive step taken by the Japanese government to address the evolving needs of the elderly care industry. It is a testament to the government’s dedication to supporting this vital sector and ensuring the well-being of the elderly population across the country.

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