J Obes Metab Syndr.  2017 Mar;26(1):10-14. 10.7570/jomes.2017.26.1.10.

Governmental or Social Support of Bariatric Surgery in the Asia-Pacific Region

  • 1Department of Family Medicine, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Family Medicine, Pusan National University Yangsan Hospital, Yangsan, Korea.
  • 3Department of Surgery, Kusatsu General Hospital, Japan.
  • 4MIS & Bariatric Surgery, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore.
  • 5Metabolism & Obesity Services, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Boden Institute, University of Sydney, Australia.
  • 6Department of Family Medicine, Gachon University Gil Medical Center, Incheon, Korea. zaduplum@aim.com


Herein we review the management status of governmental financial support of bariatric surgeries in several Asia-Pacific areas of Japan, Singapore, and Australia, which were discussed in the 2016 International Congress on Obesity and Metabolic Syndrome (ICOMES). Patient's body mass index criteria of bariatric surgery for public support are different one another in the three countries. Whereas laparoscopic sleeve gastrectomy (LSG), Roux-en Y gastric bypass (RYGB), and laparoscopic adjustable gastric banding (LAGB) are applicable in both Singapore and Australia, the coverage of insurance is limited to LSG in Japan. In addition, the surgical fees and equipment costs are not fully covered by public health insurance for performing sleeve gastrectomy in Japan, but patients with morbid obesity can still use public health insurance. In Singapore, the waiting time for surgery in public hospitals is longer on average than for private hospitals. However, patients can obtain subsidies of up to 80% of the costs of surgery in public hospitals, while particularly needy patients may even be able to obtain completely free bariatric surgery through Medifund. In Australia, bariatric surgeries in public sectors are publicly funded, but most bariatric surgeries occur in the private sector and Medicare only reimburses surgical costs in the private sector. Although certain characteristics need to be improved, the access to bariatric surgery has shown steady progress through public support in each of these countries.


Bariatric surgery; Morbid obesity; Social support
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