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Providing care for the ageing society

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Chapter Summary

Health-care systems are primarily determined by how doctors and hospitals are organized, and these, in turn, reflect their social function and historical legacy. The first half of this chapter will be an overview of the historical developments that have led to the present delivery system. The second half focuses on the elderly and how payment mechanisms have affected the delivery of care. Japan already had a well established network of practitioners in Chinese medicine by the middle of the eighteenth century. Chinese medicine took a holistic approach, focusing on the need to restore the balance between the two opposing forces of yin and yang within the body. The ageing of society led not only to increases in the number of elderly people, but also to decreases in the availability of informal care as the carers themselves aged.

Keywords: ageing society; Chinese medicine; elderly people; health-care system



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