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Health Care

Japan doubles payments to hospitals for worst coronavirus cases

A boost to $1,500-plus per day aims to fund more ICUs and staff as shortages loom

Seriously ill COVID-19 patients must be treated by multiple nurses to ensure round-the-clock care.   © Reuters

TOKYO -- Japan's health ministry on Friday decided to double reimbursement to hospitals for treatment of severely ill coronavirus patients, seeking to help ensure the health care system has enough capacity and staff to handle the rising tide of cases.

Starting Saturday, hospitals will be paid 160,000 yen to 280,000 yen ($1,480 to $2,560) for each day that a COVID-19 patient stays in an intensive care unit. Patients will continue to be exempt from the 10% to 30% copayments they are usually charged. 

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