Japan has a renowned, high-quality public and private healthcare system.
There are three types of healthcare coverage: > Shakai hoken: the employees’ social security fund. Companies with more than 5 employees are required to provide this health coverage. > Kokumin Kenko Hoken: it covers the rest of the population aged under 75 (job seekers, students, etc.) as well as expatriates. In addition, employees working for companies with less than 5 people must subscribe to this medical coverage. > Koki Koreisha Iryo Seido: medical coverage for people aged over 75.
As healthcare costs are very high, it is recommended to take out complementary healthcare coverage.
Visiting a doctor in Japan
Japanese GPs You are free to choose your own doctor. Most of them work in private hospitals and rarely provide home visits. Unlike Western countries where doctors take the time to listen to the patient and examine them, consultations in Japan are very quick! According to Japanese law, the doctor will inform the patient’s family as a priority who will then have to approve or disapprove the treatment. Consultation fees at a Japanese GP cost 5,000 yens on average (USD 51).
Japanese specialist doctors Consultation fees at a specialist doctor cost around 10,000 yens (USD 102).
Being admitted to hospital in Japan
Japanese hospitals Japanese hospitals provide quality equipment and qualified staff. As they are very well organized, waiting times are short. Most of doctors have completed their studies in an Anglo-Saxon country and therefore are fluent in English. A consultation at a hospital costs around 3,000 yens (USD 31) and you are free to choose the hospital where you want to receive treatment.
Emergencies If you need to call an ambulance, dial 119. However, keep in mind that not all ambulance drivers speak English.
Buying medication in Japan
Medical prescriptions in Japan are very clear and provide many details. You can see clearly the description of each drug, the quantity of each pill to be taken, a picture of the pill, precautions to be followed, etc. Please also note that the pharmacy will give you the exact number of pills required and not the entire box in order to avoid any waste. If you go to Japan, we recommend that you take your treatment with you as your prescription will not allow you to buy new drugs locally. A list of authorized drugs is available from the Embassy of Japan.
Get your health insurance for Japan
MSH can help you design the best international health insurance plan to suit your needs.
Cost of the visa: It is free of charge but if you apply in person, you will probably have to pay the cost of traveling to the consulate.
Turnaround time: The turnaround time may vary from one application to another but is generally around 3 to 6 days.
To apply for a visa for Japan, you must:
Be between 18 and 30 years old inclusive
Be from one of the following countries: Australia, New Zealand, Germany, Denmark, Portugal, or Norway (unlimited number of visas). Some countries have a limited number of entries. This is the case for the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Ireland, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Canada, South Korea, Poland, Slovakia, Austria, Hungary, Argentina, Chile, Iceland, Czech Republic, and Lithuania.
Hold a valid passport
Be able to prove you have sufficient resources
Have international health insurance for the duration of your stay (insurance is not mandatory but highly recommended)
Never have been granted a working holiday visa in Japan (first application)
How to get your visa
You can apply for your working holiday visa up to one year before your planned arrival in Japan. The visa applicant must submit their application in person.
Rachel lives in Togo and has been with MSH since 2002. After routine surgery, she fell into a coma that lasted 2 months. Her hospitalization cost more than 200,000 euros - but it was all covered by MSH, without her having to get involved. Thanks to the reactivity of the team and their smooth handling of the situation, Rachel's family were able to avoid any extra stress - as was Rachel when she woke up.
Laure and Robert moved to Singapore in 2014 for work - but they ended up starting a family there too! She told MSH that she was pregnant and was amazed by all the support she got. First she received a practical guide on pregnancy (what to do at each stage, medical exams etc.) and then a member of the team called her to explain all her guarantees personally and advise her on the best place to give birth. The day her daughter was born, a gift pack arrived with a growth chart and a baby toy, with all good wishes from MSH. And now there's another one on the way...
Matthieu was hiking in a canyon in Peru when he accidently fell down several meters and fractured his kneecap and elbow: "After 12 days in a local hospital, I was sent back to France where I spent 2 more weeks in hospital and months in physiotherapy" he remembers. Matthieu's hospitalization, repatriation and rehabilitation expenses were all covered by MSH: "Without my private health insurance, it would have been a nightmare: €16,000 for the hospital and €50,000 for my repatriation with two air ambulances - can you imagine?"