Japan's nursing homes plunge into deficit for first time

TOKYO, Nov 11 (News On Japan) - Profit margins for special nursing homes in Japan have hit negative territory, diving to minus 1 percent for the first time since the introduction of the nursing care insurance system in April 2000.

The Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare on Friday announced the results of a survey on the management status of nursing care service providers for the last fiscal year.

Special nursing homes, designed to provide long-term care for elderly individuals who require constant nursing care and assistance, recorded an average profit margin of -1%, and long-term care health facilities -1.1%, marking the first deficit since the start of the "kaigo rōjin hoken shisetsu", or nursing care insurance scheme.

The deficit is attributed to the rising cost of utilities and food.