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Mental Health Care Reforms in Asia: The Regional Health Care Strategic Plan: The Growing Impact of Mental Disorders in Japan
Hiroto Ito, Ph.D.; Richard G. Frank, Ph.D.; Yukiko Nakatani, M.D., Ph.D.; Yusuke Fukuda, M.D., Ph.D.
Psychiatric Services 2013; doi: 10.1176/appi.ps.201200518
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Dr. Ito is affiliated with the Department of Social Psychiatry, National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, 4-1-1 Ogawa-Higashi, Kodaira, Tokyo 1878553, Japan (e-mail: itohiroto@ncnp.go.jp). Dr. Frank is with the Department of Health Care Policy, Harvard Medical School, Boston. Dr. Nakatani is with the Essential Medicines and Health Products Department, World Health Organization, Geneva. Dr. Fukuda is with the Japan International Cooperation Agency, Tokyo. Howard H. Goldman, M.D., Ph.D., served as editor of this column.

Copyright © 2013 by the American Psychiatric Association

Abstract

In April 2013 Japan designated mental disorders as the fifth “priority disease” for national medical services, after cancer, stroke, acute myocardial infarction, and diabetes. All prefectures will be required to assess local mental health needs and develop necessary service components. This column provides an overview of the Regional Health Care Strategic Plan in the context of mental health and welfare reforms. The goals of the plan are to alter the balance between institutional and community-based care for patients with severe and persistent mental disorders, integrate general medical and mental health care, and support greater independence for people with mental disorders. It is a political challenge for Japan to reallocate resources to rebalance care services while maintaining free access to care.

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References

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