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March 11, 1998

Long-term Care in Japan and the United States: A Medical or Social Issue?

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(10):747-748. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-10-jac80000

To the Editor.—Japanese social reformers clearly have the same problem as their US counterparts. Both are unable to separate social problems from medical system problems, and both want to put the onus for visible support of social problems on the nation's physicians (and the invisible support on the nation's other taxpayers). This tendency to burden the backs of its physicians with the nation's social problems is clearly stated in the last sentence of the article by Dr Ikegami1: "To what degree the public in general, and physicians in particular, is willing to deal with these issues is a challenge for the 21st century."

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