Medical Services in Japan

 ・ If you are taken ill

Choose a hospital, clinic and/or dental clinics that can provide suitable treatment, and take your health insurance card and bring money with you when you go. Unless you are carrying your medical insurance card with you, the medical service you receive will not be covered by the insurance. It is best if you go with someone who can speak Japanese.

Consultation hours for outpatients at hospitals and clinics can vary, but most hospitals are closed on Sundays and national holidays. You should phone before you go to find out the hospitals consultation hours, holidays and departments. If you are suddenly taken ill outside these hours or on a holiday, you should go to the nearest emergency clinic.

Unless there is appointment system, patients are seen by the doctor on a first-come, first-served basis. You may have to wait a long time when there are many patients.


  1. Reception: Show your health insurance card at reception, explain what is wrong with you and which department you want to go to for treatment. You should then go to the appropriate department.
  2. Cashier: After you have been examined, go to the cashier to pay the doctors fee. If you are uninsured, you will have to pay the full cost yourself.
  3. Dispensary: Medicines prescribed by a doctor do not usually have directions in foreign languages, so you should have them explained to you when you pick them up.


§    Emergencies

If you are suddenly seriously ill, or are hurt in an accident, dial 119 and say kyuu kyuu desu, which means this is an emergency in Japanese. Give the operator your address, name, and condition, and then wait for the ambulance. (The number to call is the same in case of fire: 119.)








  1. 受付・診察:受付に健康保険証を提出し、どこが悪いか、何科で診療を受けたいのかを伝え、どの診察室に行くのか指示を受けます。
  2. 会計:診察、治療などが終わったら、会計で診察料を払います。医療保険等の適用のない方は、全て自己負担となります。
  3. 薬局:通常、薬には外国語の説明がありませんので、もらうときには十分な説明を受けて下さい。