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J Aging Soc Policy. 2001;13(2-3):21-34.

Aged care service delivery in Japan: preparing for the long-term care insurance scheme.

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School of Policy Studies, Kwansei Gakuin University, Japan, 2-1 Gakuer, Sanda, Hyogo, 669-1337, Japan.


The implementation of Japan's Long-Term Care Insurance Scheme in early 2000 presaged many changes in service delivery and much debate among service providers, different levels of government, academic analysts, and major media interests. The first part of this paper gives an account of the major changes in the organization of service delivery that have increased opportunities for private sector providers, including large corporations, and restructured contractual relationships between municipalities and providers in all sectors. New arrangements for client assessment, classification, care management, and extended service types are then outlined. An assessment is then made of the likelihood that the expected outcomes of the scheme will be realized, with the concerns of welfare professionals that the public welfare system is under threat juxtaposed with bureaucratic goals of liberalizing the provision of long-term.

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