Medical - 14. "When you get sick" | Lectures for Foreign Students on Disaster Control | JPSS, the information site of studying in Japan

Medical - 14. "When you get sick" | Lectures for Foreign Students o...

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"When you get sick"

Having four different seasons here in Japan, we experience climate change each three months. If you aren't accustomed to the cycle of the seasons, it's highly possible you to get sick easily. Not taking it seriously will not only make your condition worse but also infects other people. Therefore, if you feel sick, please go to see a doctor as soon as possible.

Internal medicine: general cold, internal organ or influenza etc.
Surgery: operation needed injuries or diseases
Orthopedics: bones, joints, muscles, backache etc.
Dermatology: diseases of skins such as eczema, nettle rash, burn, frostbite etc.
Pediatrics: deals with children (from babies and infants to teenager) and their illness
Obstetrics and Gynecology: illness peculiar to women, pregnancy and birth
Otolaryngologist (ENT): diseases and illness of the ears, nose and throat
Ophthalmology: diseases of the eyes
Psychiatry: mental illness such as depression, anorexia, panic disorder etc.
Plastic surgery: burn, frostbite, spot, mark, cosmetic surgery etc.

Please make sure that you know the types of medical institutions in your neighborhood and what kind of treatment they offer. In case you don't know which institution to visit, please check your symptom referring the list above and consult the medical institution nearby, equipped with the department you think you need to visit, first by phone.

Although large general hospitals and hospitals in affiliation with universities have every kind of departments, the problem is that it's highly possible that you have to wait for quite a long time there.

Moreover, without an introduction card written by a doctor of your neighborhood, the doctor's fee will be higher. Therefore, to see a doctor in your neighborhood will be best for the first step. If that hospital or clinic wasn't enough, the next step will be asking the doctor to write an introduction card and then go to a large general hospital.

* Medical Institutions equipped with more than 20 beds are called "hospitals (byouin)", those with less than 19 beds are called "clinic (sinnryoujo, clinic, or iin in Japanese)".


If you are told that you need to be hospitalized, please follow the instruction of the hospital. In general, they'll ask you things listed below:

  • - application form, agreement
  • - hospital identification card
  • - health insurance card
  • - seal

Moreover, when going into the hospital, guarantee and a deposit are required. Generally you'll ask your relatives, your school teacher or your boss to be your guarantee. If you cannot find anyone to ask, please consult the hospital. In some cases, paying additional deposit will make you entering the hospital without a guarantee. A deposit is usually between 50,000 yen to 100,000 yen. When getting out of the hospital, it'll be calculated as hospital charges and be adjusted, which means you need to keep all kind of deposit receipt till you get out.

In addition, you need to prepare things listed below when going into the hospital:

  • - underwear and changes of clothes
  • - pajamas
  • - towels
  • - toilet articles such as toothbrush, soap, comb, shaver etc.
  • - slippers or sandals
  • - tissue paper
  • - chopsticks, spoon, glass
  • - sanitary protection (for women)

More importantly, please refrain from using the mobile phone inside the hospital, for it'll cause problems on the medical instruments. Please use the pay phone, or if using the mobile phone is unavoidable, please go to the area such as lobby where it is permitted to use it.

Amenity Bed (Pay Bed)

Usually each rooms in the hospital is quite large such as for six people. If going into a smaller room or a private room, you'll be asked for additional charges. This is called the amenity bed cost. This can't be covered by insurance, not even part of it, and will be the patient's pay. In addition, the cost of amenity bed differs from hospital to hospital.

Depending on the vacancies of the hospital, it's possible that there is only vacancy in the room which requires an amenity bed cost. Even though the rule says that hospitals can't collect the amenity bed cost without the agreement of the patient, please be careful when signing an agreement or application form. Please beware of the cost and sign it only after being satisfied about the content.


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