Health policy amongst care workers in 3 countries: Japan, Korea and UK

The socialization of care is the main aim of the Japanese long-term care insurance system. In order for this system to be sustainable, it is essential to ensure stable social care services and improve the quality of social care.
There are currently about 1.3 million care workers in Japan, and it is estimated that between 2.12 and 2.55 million will be required by 2025. Acquiring human resources is an important issue under current policy reforms which address three main issues: 1) improving the work environment and health care of care workers; 2) human resource development and career improvement; 3) the implementation of medical care in some areas amongst care workers.
In South Korea, where a long-term care insurance system for the elderly began in 2008, improvements in health and reductions in the burden of family care can be found; however, according to a recent survey, staff turnover is increasing. There are three possible reasons for this: low ratings for care work as a profession; the physical and psychological burdens; and the work environment. As a consequence, interest in environmental improvement for care workers is likely to be insufficient.
Compared with UK, where socialization of care is popular, health and safety regulations for care workers function to prevent possible health problems in the workplace. UK's policies aim to ensure employee's safety through education and policy initiatives. These experiences should provide valuable insights from an industrial health and safety viewpoint
In this study, the development of human resource policies is reviewed, set against the experiences of care workers in Japan, Korea and UK. 
We hope that a comparative approach will stimulate discussion on how East Asian countries can improve care worker's health and safety and human development policies related to their workplace environment.

Full paper download: 3.5.1 Agenosono Yoshiko et al.pdf