Japan Helpline (Emergency medical English 24/7 hotline) 0570-000-911 or by online form

Going to the Doctor: Basics

Hospitals are divided into two categories: large hospitals with full hospitalization facilities (病院 byōin), and smaller local clinics for ordinary care (診療所 shinryōjo also called 医院iin or クリニック clinic). University hospitals like Chiba University require a referral. Bring your National Insurance Card (保険証 hokenshō) and check in at the reception desk. Usually you cannot make appointments at hospitals or clinics, so go early and bring a book. You will be issued a patient card (診察券 shinsatsuken) for that hospital. After you are seen by the doctor, return to reception to pay. There are usually multiple pharmacies nearby where you can pick up any prescriptions. JETs and Wisconsin ALTs have 70% of medical costs covered by the National Health Insurance. JETs can file for the remaining 30% using the JET Accident Insurance, but unfortunately WI-ALTs have to pay the rest out of pocket.

Lots of detailed info here: http://japanhealthinfo.com/japanese-healthcare-services/

About Doctors in Japan

Going to the doctor is rarely a pleasant experience in any country, but it can be more complicated in a foreign country. While many doctors can say some words in English, it is difficult to find a doctor who can comfortably speak English in more rural areas. If you can learn or write down the Japanese words for your symptoms and any allergies, your visit will go much more smoothly. And if you find a doctor who does speak English, share it on the wiki!

In the past, doctors in Japan enjoyed an unquestionable reverence, with patients blindly accepting whatever diagnosis is given to them without requiring much explanation. Though times are changing, as a result, your doctor's bedside manner may be different from what you're used to back home, and you may get a less than thorough explanation (even in Japanese). However, it is your right and responsibility to know what medicines and procedures you have, so ask questions if you have them.

You should also be aware of the fact that privacy may be treated differently than in your home country. For example, you may be able to overhear the doctor's conversations with other patients on the other side of a thin curtain, and you may get a thorough explanation of your medicine and symptoms at the pharmacy, where everyone can hear you. Of course, your medical information should be kept between you and your doctor, but be prepared if things are a little more open than back home.

Taxes and regulations heavily protect the Japanese pharmaceutical market, so medicines may have a different name and shape than in your country. Often medicines have side effects, with more medicines prescribed to prevent said side effects, or many medicines prescribed to address each individual symptom. If you have a cold, you may get a pill for headache, a pill for phlegm, a plastic capsule of powder for sore throat, a powder in a pouch for runny nose... all to take at different frequencies. Some pharmacies will print a chart with pictures of each medicine and list how often to take it, with food, etc. but if you are going to a smaller clinic or uncertain, you can have the doctor draw you a chart of the medicines being prescribed.

Bringing medicine from home

Medication that contains amphetamine, methamphetamine, morphine, oxycodone, hydrocodone, etc. including Nyquil, Tylenol Cold, and Advil Cold is illegal in Japan.

If you plan to send medication from home (ex. birth control), you can only send one month's supply at a time.

See the GIH for more information.

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Hospitals in Chiba

  • Chiba University Hospital, Chiba City (English/Japanese)
  • Kameda Medical Center, Kamogawa City (English/Japanese)
    Tel: 0470-92-2211 (Operators speak limited English. Ask for ext. 3014 or 3005 for English speaking staff), Fax: 0470-93-0420
    Office Hours: Mon - Sat, 07:45 - 17:00; After hours: emergency only 929 Higashi-cho, Kamogawa-shi 296-8602
  • Narita Red Cross Hospital
    Tel: 0476-22-2311
    Office Hours: Mon - Fri, 8:30 - 11:00; After hours: emergency only
    90-1 Iida-machi, Narita 286-0041
  • Nippon Medical School Chiba Hokusoh Hospital
    Tel: 0476-99-1111, Fax: 0476-99-1911
    Office Hours: 8:30 - 15:00; After hours: emergency only 1715 Kamagari, Inzai-gun 270-1694
  • Nippon Medical School New Tokyo International Airport Clinic
    Tel: 0476-34-6119, Fax: 0476-34-6121
    Office Hours: 9:00 - 17:00; After hours: emergency only New Tokyo International Airport, Terminal 2 B1F

Chiba Medical Directory: A bilingual list of clinics/hospitals in Chiba Prefecture
https://goo.gl/tvp7Ah: See the above list on Google Maps
https://sites.google.com/site/expatguidetohealthcareinjapan/: Read/submit reviews of doctors in Japan

Counseling and Mental Health

Read more on the Mental Health page.
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Special Interest Groups

For LGBTQ, religious groups, ethnic/nationality groups, vegetarian, and other interest groups, see the Special Interest Group page.
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Sexual Harassment

Read more on the Sexual Harassment page.

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Dentists

See the list of medical institutions above.
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Useful Medical Terms

A comprehensive English-Japanese list is available in CLAIR's Useful Information for JETs distributed at Tokyo Orientation to new JETs and mailed to recontracting ones in the fall.

You can download a comprehensive medical point-and-speak PDF from the Osaka Prefectural Government: Website link
General conversation (ex. at reception)
About symptoms
Medicine side/effects
Types of medicine
How to take medicine
Notes, precautions, side effects
Other advice (English on pages 8-9)
Body parts chart

An abbreviated list will be posted here. (Feel free to edit and add to this list, but please try to keep it in alphabetical order by English)
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Medicines
English
Japanese (kanji)
Pronunciation (romaji)
Notes
Amoxicillin
サワシリン
sawashirin (Sawacillin)
Cold medicine
Kakkonto
葛根湯
kakkontou
Cold medicine
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kakkonto
Pabron
パブロン
paburon
(Brand name) helps you get over a cold faster, not good for those with weak stomachs
http://www.taisho.co.jp/pabron/
Benza block
ベンザブロック
benza burokku
(Brand name) different cold medicines for where your symptoms show first
http://benza.jp/index.html
Bufferin
バファリン
bafarin
Equivalent to Advil. For headaches, etc. Contains aspirin. Try Bufferin S (stronger)
Aspirin
アセチルサリチル酸
asechirusarichiru-san
name comes from "acetylsalicylic acid"
Body Parts
English
Japanese (kanji)
Pronunciation (romaji)
Notes
abdomen

hara
also お腹 onaka
ankle
くるぶし・足首
kurubushi/ashikubi
Kurubushi is the ankle bone that juts out, ashikubi is the general joint
arm

ude

back
背中
senaka
Lower back is koshi (hip)
bone

hone

buttocks
おしり
oshiri

calf
ふくらはぎ
fukurahagi

chest

mune

chin
あご
ago
Also jaw
ear

mimi

elbow
ひじ
hiji

eye

me

face

kao

finger

yubi
Finger tip is 指先yubisaki
foot

ashi
Ashi is also leg
forearm
前腕
zenwan

forehead

hitai

hair

kami
Also 髪の毛 kami no ke
hand

te

head

atama

heart
心臓
shinzou
kokoro is emotional heart
hip

koshi
Also lower back
jaw
あご
ago
Also chin
joint
関節
kansetsu

knee

hiza

lip

kuchibiru

mouth

kuchi

muscle
筋肉
kinniku

nape
首筋
kubisuji

neck

kubi

nose

hana

shoulder

kata

skin
皮膚
hifu

stomach

i

thigh
太もも
futomomo

throat
のど
nodo

waist

dou

wrist
手首
tekubi

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