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International Healthcare in Japan



Healthcare in Japan

When it comes to health care, Japan is not simply the standard bearer in the industry.  Judging by the excellent health statistics (one data that is difficult to miss is its excellent life expectancy record) attributed to the country, it can claim itself to continuously raise the bar in term of healthcare quality.  Of course, many things have worked together to make this achievement possible.  Some of the most cited factors are the Japanese culture, independent lifestyle, and surely the formidable Japanese healthcare system.

 Statistics compiled by World Health Organization (or WHO) revealed that as much as 8.2% of the Japanese gross domestic products (or GDP) was ploghed back into its healthcare industry in 2005.  The government itself was responsible for close to 83% of this amount, which was used to fund its public healthcare program. 

Japan Public Healthcare

The most efficient public healthcare system, arguably, sits right here in Japan (through an extended network of regional and national public hospitals).  However, privately run hospitals and clinics mainstay in Japan as well.  It is believed that the country has achieved real universal healthcare as all residents here can gain access to any sort of medical facilities without any restriction.  While it is a well known fact that walk-in patient without a referral would be imposed a premium by the concerned hospital but this does not hamper its reputation of providing universal health care.  On average, a typical Japanese makes 14 trips to his doctor each year.  In term of scale, that is four times more compared to average American.  This high number of frequency is also influenced by the fact that the Japanese have so much more hospitals (according to statistics, compared to US, Japan has three times as much hospitals for every 1000 residents).  In addition, the medical related fee structure is perceived as consistent and reasonable by its living standard, and there has never been any report of patient was deprived of medical help because of exorbitant medical fees.

Japan Health Insurance Program

 The government also runs a national health insurance program.  It is a useful scheme for its citizens and residents alike as the cover benefits allow them to knock off close to 70% of the medical bills (both medical treatment and prescription drugs are included).  While patients are expected to settle the balance 30% in cash, there is also an upper threshold built into the amount by the system, so sometimes patients find themselves pay a lot less than what are expected of them.  Depending on the income level of the concerned household, this insurance premium varies greatly from 0 to ¥50,000.  Additionally, patients may choose to go to private insurance providers as additional alternative, but the private premium would have to be settled in cash or through some co-payment arrangement.  The insurance cover provided by the private sector would apportion the medical bills in accordance to the number of days spent in the hospital, or through some pre-agreed arrangement.  This is almost unheard of in the Western practice.

Finding a suitable Health Insurance in Japan

If you are a newcomer in Japan or if you are planning to make a trip there, it is advisable for you to be covered by an established insurance provider before you take off.  Japan has a reputation that is associated with non-cheap medical costs due to its high cost of living there.  In order to protect yourself from accidents or incidental medical costs, you can be dependent on international health insurance.  Please contact us so that our staff could guide you to your ideal healthcare plan in Japan.

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