Most clinics are open for consultations on weekdays, during regular business hours, and Saturday mornings. They are usually closed on Saturday afternoons, Sundays, and public holidays.
When you visit a clinic, you will need to show your National Health Insurance card and patient card (for first-time visitors, only a health insurance card is required) at the reception area and wait to be seen by the doctor. Remember that your National Health Insurance card can be used at any health provider in Japan, so be sure to take it with you when you go on vacation as well. After your consultation, you need to pay for the visit at the cashier’s window and, if necessary, pick up your prescription. Please take your prescription to a pharmacy, and purchase your medication there.
In the event you forget your National Health Insurance card, you will need to pay the entire cost of the consultation fee. However, please get a receipt and statement, and take these along with your National Health Insurance card to your local ward office. At the ward office, you will receive the 70% refund.
Using another person’s National Health Insurance card or lending or selling it to another person is illegal. If you break the law, you will be penalized. If you are going to a hospital for the first time and do not understand Japanese well, it is recommended that you take a Japanese speaker with you.
Here is a list of hospitals and clinics in the Sapporo area which offer consultations in English:
|Hokkaido University Hospital
|Kita 14, Nishi 5, Kita-ku, Sapporo
|Sapporo City General Hospital
|1-1, Kita 11, Nishi 13, Chuo-ku, Sapporo
Volunteer who act as English interpreters are available at the Sapporo City General Hospital. Please note that working hours of the volunteers are limited. Please call the number above before you visit the hospital to make an arrangement.
The following websites are also great sources of information regarding Health Care in Hokkaido:
Sapporo Medical Association (in Japanese)