Quit-services remote

| July 17, 2017

The Japanese health ministry has approved a rule change that allows doctors to treat remotely, through smartphones or personal computers, patients who wish to quit smoking, according to a story in Japan Today.

The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has informed all 47 prefectures of the change, which took effect on Friday.

Under normal circumstances, the Medical Practitioners Act requires that initial examinations must be carried out face-to-face before treatment can begin.

But, under the change, no initial face-to-face examination is required in the case of a person seeking treatment to stop smoking, as long as the person undergoes regular medical check-ups.

Under the change, also, people will not have to see a doctor before getting a new prescription for drugs to stop smoking.

The ministry has approved doctors and smoking cessation patients communicating through emails, social network services, videophones, smartphones and personal computers, officials said.

National health insurance does not cover telemedicine consultations and treatment, but the ministry has said that it will ask the appropriate advisory panel to study the matter, the officials added.

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Category: Breaking News, Regulation

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