Healthcare and medical care
In general, healthcare is of a high standard. There are clinics as well as hospitals in Japan. There is a wide range of clinics, and practices with only one doctor are also called clinics. These are frequently specialised in a particular field of medicine. The patient can choose for 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
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. If you are studying in Japan temporarily, you often must either pay for the treatment in advance or present a payment commitment by an insurance company to receive treatment. 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.
Medicines and over-the-counter products such as painkillers and bandage supplies are sold in pharmacies and specific stores that sell over-the-counter products and other healthcare products. 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. In this case, the deductible for the medicines is a maximum of 30%.