Economic:Japan has one of the world's largest and wealthiest economies. GDP was valued at US$5,871 billion in 2011, behind the USA and China. This was equal to US$45,939 per capita. The EIU expects real GDP to rise by 1.7% in 2012 as Japan recovers from the effects of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
Demography:Japan is the ninth most populous country in the world, although the population is gradually decreasing. Official estimates show that the percentage of the population aged 65 or over will rise to 41% by 2055. Japan's IMR is the lowest in the world, falling each year since 1995. Life expectancy at birth both for males and females, is among the world's highest, at 79.3 years and 86.1 years respectively.
The health status of Japan's population is among the best in the world. The country has the one of the world's lowest infant mortality rates, the highest life expectancy for women and the fourth highest for men. As a result, Japan has the world's highest proportion of people aged over 65 years.
Healthcare Expenditure:The principal source of funding for health in Japan is through the social insurance system. Japan spends the second highest amount on healthcare in the world, estimated at US$491.9 billion in 2011. In per capita terms this equals US$3,888.
Primary Care:With no system of general practitioners, a patient's first contact with the healthcare system in Japan is primarily at a hospital outpatient department or medical clinic. Consequently, Japan has the highest rate of outpatient visits in the world by some margin. In 2010, outpatient visits stood at a rate of 23,633 per 1,000 population.
Hospital Care:Japan has some of the most sophisticated hospitals in the world and leads the rankings in terms of the number of beds per person (12.6 per thousand population). Only China has more beds overall. However, Japan also has the world's highest ALOS rate in the world, by a significant distance, owing to the large elderly population and the associated long-term care requirements. The system is in danger of becoming overburdened and radical steps have been undertaken to try to reduce medical treatment costs.
Medical personnel:Japan has made progress in recent years in increasing the number of physicians to 2.2 per 1,000 population, although this is still a low rate in comparison with other developed nations. Disparity exists on a regional basis and many of the more rural prefectures have difficulty in recruiting physicians in sufficient numbers.
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