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Health Overview: Medical Treatment

Medical treatment in Japan is by all accounts safe and modern and you needn’t worry about hygiene or accessibility.

Your national health insurance is accepted at the majority of treatment facilities, and entitles you to 70% coverage of your medical bill. However, you will therefore need to pay 30% of the bill when you visit the doctor/are admitted to hospital. Be sure to carry your health insurance card with you at all times.

Large hospitals, often known as sougoubyouin (総合病院), can treat most ailments and injuries, but depending on the scale of the hospital, you may need to first visit a local doctor’s clinic to be referred there for treatment.

Local doctor’s clinics are in greater number even in small localities. They are classified under either Internal Medicine, naika (内科) – for illnesses and internal medical conditions, or Orthopedic Surgery, geka (外科) – for injuries. You must therefore choose the clinic you visit according to the ailment you have.

Most doctors are required to study English at university, and some will have completed a period of study abroad, so it is common for at least a basic level of English to be understood.

The Fukuoka Prefecture Medical Center provides a directory of all medical centers in any area of Fukuoka prefecture. The search engine on this site helps you narrow down your needs based on language preference, medical service required and the area in which you live.

The US Embassy also provides a list of English-speaking doctors in Fukuoka here.

Click here to view a list of medical facilities recommended by JET peers in each area.