Emergency medicine in Japan: past, present, and future

Kentaro Shimizu, Seikei Hibino, Michelle H. Biros, Taro Irisawa, Takeshi Shimazu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Quite a few changes and challenges have arisen in society in general as technology has advanced and the aging population has increased. These can lead to the recognition of the shortcomings of a society’s traditional systems and the various changes that are needed, especially in providing emergency medical care. A super-aged society has been developing in Japan, and the emergency care system needs to change according to these new demographics and society’s needs. The focus has been shifting from critical care and trauma to medical and surgical conditions involving the elderly. Challenges in triage, ambulance diversion, and staffing are discussed in this review. Possible solutions currently underway, such as a public helpline, smartphone app system, coordination by designated hospitals, and universal coverage/government support, are discussed as future directions. Emergency medicine in Japan needs to develop in a more flexible way to meet the upcoming robust challenges of the changing demographics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2
JournalInternational Journal of Emergency Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, The Author(s).


  • Acute medicine
  • Ambulance diversions
  • Education
  • Elderly
  • Emergency medicine
  • Japan

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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