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Director’s message


Director of HIAS Health
SATO, Motohiro

Currently, Japan’s medical expenditures exceed 40 trillion yen per year. The government’s social security-related expenditures have become a major fiscal burden, reaching 30 trillion yen per year. Long-term care benefit expenses were 3.6 trillion yen per year when the long-term care insurance system started in fiscal 2000, but have rapidly swelled to as much as 8 trillion yen per year at present. This situation is widely recognized as an economic and fiscal issue as well as a major social issue.

It is necessary to consider how to allocate limited healthcare resources and to identify where they are being wasted and how to reduce such waste so that resources are provided for those who are really in need of healthcare and long-term care. Furthermore, healthcare and long-term care are domains of public policy, so it is not enough to ensure that individual hospitals and facilities can remain profitable. The healthcare system including primary care in each medical care zone must be able to provide high-quality healthcare and long-term care in an efficient and effective manner. Cost-effectiveness analysis and other disciplines in the fields of economics, management, accounting and finance will play an important role in achieving these objectives.

It was in such a context that Hitotsubashi University established its Research Center for Health Policy and Economics (HIAS Health) in 2015 to advance research in health economics. HIAS Health aims to conduct policy advocacy and social outreach on the basis of advanced research and analysis, to develop human resources with a good understanding of medical settings and a well-rounded specialized education in social science, and to form research and education networks with other universities, research institutes and medical institutions through these activities.

We hope to contribute to solving the challenges of health economics through research and education.