Information for Patients
The standard of healthcare services in Japan is one of the best in Asia, or even in the whole world. Services are either provided by regional or national public hospitals or through private hospitals and clinics. According to the law, all hospitals must be run as non-profit and managed by physicians. Hence, the cost of health care services in Japan is relatively low. For-profit health care organizations could only focus on elective or cosmetic procedures. The total number of hospitals in Japan is around 8400, with Tokyo having the most hospitals.
Japan’s public health insurance system is known as the SHIS – Statutory Health Insurance System. SHIS is applicable to everyone who is employed as a full time with a mid-sized or large company. Around 5% of the salary is deducted to pay for the insurance. For self-employed people, those who work for a smaller company and the unemployed, they are covered by the NHI – National Health Insurance. Public health insurance covers approximately 70% of the cost while patients have to pay for the remaining 30%. Private health insurance plans are also available in Japan, but they only play a supplementary and complementary role.
Information for Health Care Professionals
According to the Medical Practitioner Act, a person who wishes to become a medical practitioner shall pass the National Examination for Medical Practitioners and receive a license from the Minister of Health, Labour and Welfare. Doctors from the U.S., the U.K., France and Singapore can practice in Japan without a Japanese Medical License under bilateral agreements with those countries. However, they could only provide services to patients of their own nationality. Foreign physicians who wish to treat Japanese patients must obtain a Japanese license. Knowledge in the language of Japanese is required.
Japan is highly competitive in high-level medical treatment, such as cancer treatment, coronary bypass surgery, heart and lung transplantation etc.
Information for Travelers
Japan is a popular destination for medical tourism, and its development is backed by the government. Most of the medical tourists came from other Asian countries, such as China. Medical visas are available to foreigners, which allow them to stay in Japan for up to 6 months for medical treatment. Travellers planning their trips to Japan are recommended to receive multiple vaccinations, including Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Japanese Encephalitis, Rabies and Routine Vaccinations.
Link to the Ministry of Health: https://www.mhlw.go.jp/english/