How can travelers go to hospitals with peace of mind? Thoughts for Foreign Visitors to Japan

japan doctor
Insurance for Foreign Visitors to Japan

The Japan Medical Association announced that it has advised the government to ensure that foreign visitors to Japan receive adequate treatment in rural areas as well as in urban areas in case they become suddenly ill.

Since illness during travel is an expected accident, someone visiting Japan will go to a hospital, but how can we be assured of a safe visit?

The Japan Medical Association takes the health of foreign visitors to Japan very seriously.

Since the beginning of 2023, Japan’s water border measures have been relaxed and many travelers have come to Japan.

As some of you may have experienced illness while traveling, the probability of becoming ill while traveling is higher than usual because you are in an unfamiliar place.

In Japan, there is an organization called the Japan Medical Association, which provides direction for medical care in Japan, and this time we advised the Japanese government on how to deal with the increasing number of foreign visitors to Japan who become ill while traveling and who are sent to hospitals.

The press conference is uploaded on Youtube.

The press conference is in Japanese, so please use subtitles if you do not understand Japanese.

For the medical association’s page, click >>Click here<<

After all, what are we talking about?

At this press conference, we requested six measures from the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare to protect foreign patients visiting Japan and medical institutions.

  1. Thoroughly disseminate information and publicize measures against new coronas (including vaccination)
  2. Implementation of special measures for vaccination of foreign visitors to Japan
  3. Preliminary medical examinations and medical questionnaires in multiple languages and nationally standardized forms
  4. Exemption from paying medical interpreter fees and other expenses related to mass vaccination
  5. Issuance of vaccination certificates and support for both Japanese and foreign languages
  6. 24-hour service at the One-Stop counter, including weekdays

Coronavirus is not the only disease. No one knows what kind of disease you will get, but I feel that the coronavirus is a particularly strong request because it is a ubiquitous disease and anyone can be infected with it.

Since Japan has many unique cultures and tourist attractions in the countryside rather than in the cities, rural hospitals must also be able to accommodate foreign patients.

For that purpose 3  and 6  are of paramount importance.

I won’t spoil your memories of Japan!

Getting sick while traveling is inevitable. You can take measures in advance, but there is no way to absolutely avoid getting sick while traveling.

So anyone can potentially get sick, but all foreigners must pay 100% of their own medical expenses when they receive medical treatment at a hospital.

You may be able to pay cash for just a simple abdominal pain, but if you need hospitalization or surgery, you can expect to be charged huge medical bills.

Even before the coronavirus outbreak, many people who received treatment but did not pay for it returned to their countries, causing a social problem.

We know that the same problems will come up, so it is imperative to create a system that allows patients to focus on treatment without financial worries andmedical institutions to ask, “Can this person afford the treatment? ” It is imperative to create a system that can provide the best treatment methods without worrying about such issues as “Can this person afford the treatment?

The point of this proposal is to make travelers feel safe in Japan! This is our desire.

What can travelers do?

Not only in Japan. It is insurance that covers illnesses when you visit a foreign country.

When you buy a plane ticket, you will probably be advised to buy travel insurance, but Japan has inexpensive, Japanese-quality travel insurance.

The policy will cover you for up to 31 days, but the premiums are much lower than traditional travel insurance.

By having insurance, you can be assured that there will be interpretation services and that the hospital will pay for your treatment.

Above all, be prepared in advance so that you can focus on your treatment with peace of mind.


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