Japanese researchers have visited a Pontefract GP surgery to learn about primary healthcare in the UK.
Two researchers and a student spent time at Stuart Road Surgery, shadowing GPs as part of an international comparative study on healthcare systems, funded by the Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare in Japan.
They were invited by Dr Noriaki Sawa, a GP at the surgery, who has written academic papers on the Japanese healthcare system.
Dr Andrew Perkins, senior partner, said: “Primary health care is very much in its infancy in Japan, it’s hospital-based, so they are looking at models of primary care and community based care.
“It’s been quite an eye-opener for them in terms of us as a wider family practice, we know the patients, their families, and their children.”
The researchers are also visiting hospitals and other health practices in the UK, France and Germany, and will report their findings in May.
Dr Sawa said: “Japan is facing a real challenge with an ageing population and an increase in the prevalence of conditions like many other developed countrieslikethe UK.
“With increasingly strained financial resources, many people are now looking to deliver kinder, safer, more efficient services to patients by shifting a focus from hospital-based care to community-based care.
“As a general practitioner, I believe that primary health care is key to maintaining and improving people’s health and wellbeing in any country.”