Doctors and dentists
When looking for Doctors/Dentists, it is always best to consult with someone who is knowledgeable about hospitals/Dental clinics in your area. Just because a hospital claims to have English-speaking staff does not necessarily mean they can provide the best care. Feel free to ask your Senpais for information about local hospitals. If your situation requires confidentiality, feel free to contact one of the PAs for more information.
Remember to take your insurance card with you for all visits. National health insurance will cover 70 percent of all treatment and the remaining 30 percent will come out of pocket. Be sure to save receipts for treatment for injuries sustained outside of work as you may be able to make a claim under your JET accident insurance. Check your JET insurance policy book for details.
- IMPORTANT: If you believe that you may have contracted COVID-19 and your symptoms are not immediately life-threatening, do not visit a clinic or hospital. Instead consult with a COVID-19 Consultation Center and follow their instructions.
Please refer to the "General Information Handbook" provided by JET. It can be seen as a PDF here. Vaccines in Japan can be expensive. So, before you leave home, get childhood vaccinations updated and get other shots recommended for travelling in case you want to go abroad during the holidays.
Medications in Japan tend to be weaker then those in Western countries. They also provide medication more specific to symptoms instead of a single cause, so you might end up with more prescriptions than you are accustomed.
Please keep in mind that most people write online about their bad experiences with doctors and dentists in Japan, and far fewer people write about their good experiences. Never postpone going to the doctor or dentist if you are in need. If you have concerns please contact a Prefectural Advisor. Their information is provided under PA/Support System.
The Akita International Association Medical Handbook has a comprehensive list of words and phrases you might use when seeking medical attention.
If you find yourself injured and would like help covering medical costs, consider looking into the JET Program Accident Insurance (傷害保険 shougai hoken). You can find more information about this topic, as well as the form and procedure to apply, on the JET program website.
We have dental coverage here and it is inexpensive. A cleaning costs around 3000 yen. A silver crown can cost around 4000 yen. If you have concerns consider taking care of dental issues before coming to Japan. If the language barrier is a consideration, you should have no problem seeking out referals from other ALTs for good English speaking dentists.
- Cavity: 虫歯(mushiba)
- Filling: 詰め物 (tsumemono)
- White Filling/Temporary filling (composite resin): コンポジットレジン(konpojitto rejin)
- Crown: クラウン (kuraun)
- Root Canal: 根管 (konkan)
- Injection: 注射 (chuusha)
- Needle: 針 (hari)
JETs who have visited doctors have compiled lists of recommended (and not recommended) clinics. It is always worth consulting a trusted sempai JET or your Block PA if you're worried about going to the doctor.
If you've recently had a good/bad experience at the doctor, please contact your Block PA about contributing to these recommendations!
- Hospitals and Clinics with English Support Issued by the Akita International Association.
- English-speaking doctors in Akita. (somewhat hard to navigate)
- Doctors in the Akita area: Akita Medical & Dental Facilities. (slightly older file, but created by a native speaker)
- An English-speaking Dentist in Kazuno: Map to Hana-no-Machi Dental Clinic.
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