Among other services, Japan’s health care system provides screening exams, prenatal care, and disease prevention, with the patient being responsible for 30% of the costs and the government paying the remainder. Personal medical services are paid through an insurance system that provides a level playing field of access, with government-determined fees. Japanese law requires residents to carry health insurance.
The government manages a national health insurance program, which is available to people without employer-sponsored insurance. The patients have the right to select what physicians or facilities they wish to use and cannot be denied coverage. According to law, hospitals have to be non-profit and run by physicians.
In Japan, medical treatment is of exceptionally high quality. There are no other countries in the world where people live longer than those born in Japan. Japan is the world’s leading country in technology and offers excellent hospitals and clinics with highly technical, state-of-the-art equipment. Although few Japanese pursue medicine (medical study is expensive), Japan has excellent hospitals and clinics.
Hospitals and clinics cannot be owned or operated by profit-making organizations, and physicians must own and operate clinics. The Japanese don’t have a family physician system, but there are numerous private and public hospitals in Japan.
Citizens of Japan, ex-pats, and foreigners are generally covered free of charge for health care. This is because the Japanese health system provides universal health care. The system can be used by all citizens and non-Japanese citizens living in Japan for over a year.
The government has attempted to improve the health care available to non-Japanese citizens in Japan as non-Japanese citizens grow. However, since the language barrier has always been a problem, the government has hired English-speaking doctors to work in Japanese hospitals.
Unsurprisingly, one-sixth of all surgeons and specialists in Japan were trained in western English-speaking countries such as the United States and England.