Healthcare and medical care
Japan´s National Health Insurance System covers the whole population. In general, healthcare is of a high standard. There are clinics as well as hospitals in Japan. There are a wide range of clinics, and practices with only one doctor are called clinics too. These are frequently specialised in a particular field of medicine. The patient can choose themselves which clinic and hospital to use. You should check the opening hours beforehand as they may be irregular, especially at small clinics. If you become ill, you should turn to a clinic first. If necessary, a doctor will provide you with a referral for hospital.
Healthcare services for foreigners are of a high standard. Prices are comparatively high. A number of general practitioners and specialists in Tokyo focus on treating foreign patients. You can search for health and medical services on the JNTO website. Specialisation in treating foreigners is not quite so wide outside large cities, nor do staff always speak English.
The City of Tokyo maintains a telephone service, Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Institution Information Himawari, which provides information about health and medical services in the Tokyo region. The service is available daily from 9 am to 8 pm in English, among other languages. Upon request, the operator may find you a suitable clinic. You can also search for contact information for hospitals and clinics on the service’s website.
Telephone: 03 5285 8181 (+81 3 5285 8181 from abroad)
Website: Tokyo Metropolitan Medical Institution Information Himawari (www.himawari.metro.tokyo.jp)
Japan’s National Health Insurance System covers the whole population, including foreigners residing in Japan for more than three months and registered in Japan’s Resident Register. The price of treatment covered by health insurance is the same in all places of treatment, and the deductible is 30%. Persons studying in Japan on a temporary basis are not covered by the national health insurance system. In this case, advance payment in full or a payment commitment by an insurance company is usually necessary before treatment can be started. When travelling to Japan, you should take out comprehensive travel insurance. In particular, repatriation in the case of illness or death is extremely expensive and difficult to arrange without private travel insurance.
If you are health insured in Finland, and have received treatment in some other country than an EU or EEA country or Switzerland on account of a sudden illness, worsening of a chronic condition, pregnancy or childbirth, you can apply for reimbursement from Kela retrospectively. You are entitled for the same reimbursement that you would have received if you had been treated in the private healthcare system in Finland. Please note that the reimbursement usually covers only a small part of the costs of the treatment. Thus, taking out a comprehensive travel insurance is recommended.
Medicines and so-called “over-the-counter products”, such as painkillers and bandage supplies, are sold both in pharmacies and in over-the-counter stores. Prescription medicines can only be obtained from pharmacies. Not all medicines used in Finland are necessarily available in Japan. You can only receive reimbursement for medicines if you are covered by health insurance in Japan. The deductible in this case is 30%.