Ⅴ． When You Go to Hospitals or Clinics
1. Things to Check before Receiving Treatment
(1) Outpatients Are Seen in the Morning
Before going to the hospital, make sure of their schedule for outpatients. At most hospitals, outpatients are seen only in the morning. Doctors see patients with a particular illness in the afternoon. Each department or section of the hospital has different schedules. Although the check-in time for outpatients is fixed, there are many people waiting before the receptionist is open to get an earlier number. For that reason, even if you get to the hospital just at the time the doors open, you need to wait for a long time.
(2) National Health Insurance and Medical Support System for International Students
International students who are staying in Japan more than one year need to join the National Health Insurance. The National Health Insurance section at the ward office(city office)where you did your alien registration will accept your application. Talk to the person in charge because the monthly fee(hokenryo) may be deducted in some cases.
There is a medical fee support system for international students from the Association of International Education in Japan(AIEJ). With this system, the amount you need to cover will be greatly reduced although the amount covered will differ depending on whether you have National Health Insurance or not. After your visit to the hospital, bring your receipt and National Health Insurance Card to the "Ryugakusei-ka" and fill in the application form for medical support for international students there. After 2~3 months, you will get the reimbursement. For more details or confirmation, visit the Ryugakusei-ka.
The family members of international students are not covered by this AIEJ medical support program. However, with National Health Insurance, self coverage will be 30% of the total bill.
(3) Traffic Accidents
When you get injured in a traffic accident, you need to pay the whole amount at the hospital. Your automobile third party liability insurance will cover the whole or part of your payment after the settlement of the case. Talk to the person at the hospital when you need to go there for injury from an accident.
(4)National Health Insurance Card and Hospital Card (Shinsatsu-ken)
When you visit a hospital for the first time, and if you don't have the National Health Insurance card, you need to pay the whole amount at the hospital. You need to show the National Health Insurance card to the same hospital if you visit there in a different month. Even when you visit the same section of the same hospital after a long time from the last visit, bring your National Health Insurance card .
At the first visit to a hospital or clinic, they will issue you a hospital card (shinsatsu-ken). You need to bring this card from the second visit. You can use the same card for different sections of the same hospital.
2. Steps in Receiving Treatment
In the case of a first visit (This is a general process. The order in the last part may differ among hospitals.)
filling out application form → processing application (chart made) → going to department and waiting for doctor→ treatment → tests → receipt of prescription → payment → receipt of medicine
(1) Filling Out Application Form (This is the Process at a Hospital. Clinics Have a Simpler Procedure.)
Fill in the application form first.
(2) Processing Application
After filling out the application form, bring the form and National Health Insurance card to the first visit counter. Wait for your chart in the waiting room. When it's ready, they will call your name and tell you which room to go to.
(3) Processing Application at the Department
Go to the right department, and hand in the chart. Wait in a chair in front of the room. As your number approaches, your name will be called and you will be told which doctor's room to go to. Then go to wait in a chair in front of the designated room.(In some hospitals, you will go to the doctor's room directly from the waiting room.)
(4) Treatment and Consultation
Enter the doctor's room when your name is called. Following are some questions to be asked --- better to note in advance.
(5) If You Need Tests
There are two kinds of tests.
(6) After the Check-up
Medication is prescribed if needed. A file of statement for calculating the bill, hospital card(shinsatsu-ken) and prescription will be received.
See the references on the examples of questions and answers about the medication.
(7) Payment and Pharmacy
Submit the file to the payment counter and wait until the bill is made. You will get the number for receiving medication at the payment counter. (Some hospitals give you prescriptions and you will purchase medication at a pharmacy that deals with prescriptive medications outside the hospital.) When your number is posted on the board, you will receive the medication.
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