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Japan – Doctors

Japan is a country with a world-renowned healthcare system, and finding a local doctor is relatively easy. In this article, we will explore the process of finding and registering with a doctor in Japan, how doctor’s appointments are paid for, and how to transfer medical documents from abroad.

Finding and Registering with a Local Doctor in Japan

Finding a local doctor in Japan is relatively easy. You can search for doctors on websites such as G-Medical or the Japan Medical Association (JMA) website. The JMA website provides a list of certified doctors in each prefecture, along with their contact information and areas of expertise.

Once you have found a doctor, you can either call their clinic to schedule an appointment or use a service such as Japan Medical Support to book an appointment for you. When you go to your first appointment, you will be required to fill out a form with your personal information and medical history.

In Japan, it is common to have a regular doctor who you visit for routine check-ups and medical issues. Establishing a good relationship with your doctor is important, as they will be responsible for your ongoing care.

How Doctor’s Appointments are Paid for in Japan

In Japan, the cost of doctor’s appointments is covered by the national health insurance system. This system is mandatory for all residents of Japan and covers a portion of medical costs, with patients responsible for a co-payment.

The amount of the co-payment varies depending on the medical treatment, with more expensive procedures requiring a higher co-payment. For example, a general consultation with a doctor may have a co-payment of around 30% of the total cost, while more expensive procedures such as surgery may require a co-payment of 10-20%.


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It is worth noting that the national health insurance system only covers Japanese citizens and permanent residents. If you are a temporary resident or a visitor, you will need to purchase travel insurance or pay for your medical expenses out of pocket.

Transferring Medical Documents in Japan from Abroad

If you need to transfer medical documents to a doctor in Japan from abroad, there are a few things to keep in mind. Firstly, it is important to ensure that your documents are translated into Japanese. While some doctors may speak English, it is always better to have documents in Japanese to avoid any miscommunication.

If you are already in Japan, you can take your translated documents to your doctor’s clinic. If you are still abroad, you can send your documents by mail or email. It is important to check with your doctor beforehand to confirm their preferred method of receiving documents.

It is also worth noting that if you have a chronic medical condition, it may be a good idea to bring a summary of your medical history with you to Japan. This can be particularly helpful if you are seeing a new doctor who is not familiar with your medical history.

Finding a local doctor in Japan is relatively easy, and the national health insurance system makes doctor’s appointments affordable for residents. It is important to establish a good relationship with your doctor and bring any necessary medical documents, particularly if you have a chronic medical condition. If you are a temporary resident or visitor, it is important to ensure that you have adequate travel insurance or are prepared to pay for medical expenses out of pocket.


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