Here, we provide answers to commonly asked questions.
Procedures before coming to Japan
- What kind of information is necessary in order to decide which medical facility will accept me?
- We will need a medical certificate, test results, CT scans and other imaging data from your primary care physician, and we will need a description of your current medical situation and treatment that you have undergone so far.
- Does the medical certificate have to be in Japanese?
- We would prefer to have the medical certificate in Japanese, but if it is only available in another language, we can still accept it. Be sure to discuss this with us.
- Can I select the medical facility myself?
- If there is a particular medical facility or treatment that you prefer, please let us know. We will try to select the facility from among those that accept foreign patients. We may, however, refer you to a different medical facility, or advise a different treatment method, based on the medical information provided.
- How should I go about getting an airplane ticket?
- We recommend an open ticket that allows you to change your travel dates. Depending on the content of tests and treatment, the length of your stay in Japan could change. Avoid low-cost tickets that do not allow schedule changes.
- How do I arrange medical transport if necessary?
- If you want to arrange for medical transport, please let us know. In some cases, however, depending on your current medical condition, we may need a medical certificate from your primary care physician and a letter of agreement from the airline company.
About medical visas
- Is it possible to stay longer than 90 days in order to receive outpatient treatment, as opposed to inpatient treatment?
- Staying longer than 90 days requires inpatient treatment.
- I already have an appointment to be seen at a medical facility. Can I directly ask the medical facility to issue an appointment certificate, instead of going through an agency?
- A single form is used that is both the appointment certificate by the medical facility and your certificate of guarantee of identity from an agency. Because of this, please consult us about registered agencies when getting your appointment certificate issued by the medical facility. Even if you have chosen the medical facility and made an appointment yourself, you may still need a certificate of guarantee of identity from an agency, depending on the results of the medical information provided by the agency.
- Will I definitely be able to get a visa if a medical facility issues an appointment certificate and a certificate of guarantee of identity?
- A guarantee by an agency simply guarantees your identity for the visa application (for foreign patients and accompanying persons, etc.), and does not guarantee that you will receive a visa.
- Once I've obtained a medical visa, what do I need to be aware of during my stay in Japan?
- The agency may be asked to contact you during your stay in Japan, or, after you have left Japan, you may be asked to provide documents proving that you have left. Always make sure that you can be contacted by the agency once you are in Japan, and make sure to provide any documents or other information that you may be asked to provide.
- Where can I get detailed information about medical visas?
- For detailed information about medical visas, please refer to the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, titled "For those who would like to apply for the Visa for Medical Stay".
Everyday life during your stay in Japan
- What if I am worried about language problems?
- We can provide medical interpreters to help with intake at the medical facility, and while you are in the hospital, and we can provide general interpreters to help you with everyday activities.
- What if I have an accident, or a problem such as theft?
- We strongly recommend enrolling in overseas travel insurance that covers unexpected problems, before leaving your country.
About medical fees
- Can I pay medical fees using a credit card?
- It depends on the medical facility. Many facilities only accept certain cards, so we urge you to bring enough cash with you to cover expenses. In some cases, you may be asked to pay in advance, based on an estimate, and then payment will be adjusted when the actual amount has been determined.
- Why are medical fees different for Japanese and foreigners, for the same treatment?
- Japan has a national medical insurance system, and it is mandatory for Japanese and for foreigners staying in Japan for more than a year to enroll. They pay a premium every month for health insurance. Because of this, they only pay a portion of the total medical fees. Foreigners who are not enrolled in the national insurance system must pay the entire amount of the fees. This is why there is a difference in medical fees.