Yearly medical check-ups the norm in Japan


KUALA LUMPUR: It’s the norm for the young and old in Japan to go for a yearly medical check-up whether in school or at a community or government facility, said a Japanese non-governmental organisation.

“Even for women who don’t work, they are provided with basic services by the local government,” said Sumie Ishii, chairperson of the Japanese Orga­nisation for Interna­tional Coope­­ration in Family Planning.

“They receive information at health centres or they will be assigned nearby doctors, either in a public or private health facility, based on a universal health coverage.

“Its insurance policy will be used for aged care once they retire at 65. For those who do not have enough funds, the social security will pay for their health needs,” she said during a conference on population ageing in selected Asian countries organised by the International Planned Parenthood Federation here yesterday.

Ishii also noted that some companies in Japan will compel their employees to improve their health if they are found to be obese or suffering from unhealthy habits.

For instance, if the younger generation is found to be obese, the companies will work out a strict regimen for them, she said.

Health concerns: Chew Mei Fun (third from right) gesturing as she speaks to conference participants in Kuala Lumpur. Among the attendees are IPPF-ESEOR regional director Nora Murat (right) and National Population and Family Development Board Malaysia director general Datuk Dr Siti Norlasiah Ismail (sixth from right).
Health concerns: Chew Mei Fun (third from right) gesturing as she speaks to conference participants in Kuala Lumpur. Among the attendees are IPPF-ESEOR regional director Nora Murat (right) and National Population and Family Development Board Malaysia director general Datuk Dr Siti Norlasiah Ismail (sixth from right).

“They will refer the employees to nutritionists, physical therapists or doctors who will customise a weight-loss programme for them.

“This is because employers are worried that when workers become sick, it will be more expensive to treat,” she added.

Deputy Women, Family and Com­­munity Development Minister Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun said the corporate sector, non-governmental organisations and local community associations should set up day centres at strategic places for older persons to support them and their families.

They should also provide care for older persons such as bringing them to hospitals or clinics, to join activities or assisting them to clean themselves.

“While the Government is doing its part, other stakeholders should also set up such support structures for older persons with children who have migrated to urban areas or are living overseas,” said Chew, who represented Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim at the event.