Health Minister on Tokyo study trip to learn about Japan's solutions to ageing population

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong is in Japan for a four-day study trip to learn from Japan's experiences in dealing with an ageing population. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
Health Minister Gan Kim Yong is in Japan for a four-day study trip to learn from Japan's experiences in dealing with an ageing population. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

Tokyo - Singapore is looking to Japan for solutions to help ease what has been an increasingly greying population.

Health Minister Gan Kim Yong arrived in Japan on Tuesday morning for a four-day study trip. With him are officials from the Ministry of Health (MOH), the Agency for Integrated Care and the Ageing Population Office. "The Ministry hopes to learn from Japan's experiences in developing its aged care sector and in health promotion, as well as policies pertaining to the financing of long term care," said the MOH in a statement.

Singapore is in the midst of reshaping the way it finances healthcare, including compulsory health insurance for every resident. The delegation will visit Tokyo University, which has a very strong gerontology department, this morning, followed by a tour of the nearby housing project for the elderly run by the department, to provide seniors with the opportunity to carry on working.

In the afternoon, Mr Gan, who is also the Minister in charge of Ageing Issues, will call on Japan's Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare, Mr Norihisa Tamura to be briefed on its long-term care insurance system.

The Japanese have the longest life expectancy in the world, according to the World Health Organisation. Women can expect to live to an average age of 86 years and men to 82 years. The Singapore team will also visit the Kashiwa-no-Ha Smart City Project, which aims to develop a city of health and longevity, as well as several hospitals and medical centre.