How to see an English speaking doctor in Sapporo Japan

In America, you go to an urgent care if you don't have a regular doctor. In Thailand, you can go straight to a hospital. What do you do in Japan? Where can I find an English speaking doctor in Sapporo? Medical care in Sapporo and other parts of Japan is good and cheap, but you need to know the rules about when to go to the hospital in Japan, versus when to go to a GP in Japan. Below find my quick recommendation for an English speaking GP in Sapporo.

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I'll keep this brief but it's important to state: medical care in Japan is excellent, and CHEAP. Japanese people have medical cards that make it even cheaper, and clinics WILL take insurance. I have no insurance, and paid out of pocket. To give you an idea of how cheap it is as of June 2018...

My medical costs in Japan without insurance:

  • First visit fee and medical consultation: 2820yen (about US$25)
  • Second visit fee: 1300yen (about $12)
  • EKG/ECG cost: 1300yen (about $12)
  • Blood draw and blood work analysis for kidney function: 2670yen (about $24)
  • Third visit medical consultation and blood work results: 2000yen (about $18)
  • TOTAL: $92
Remember that this is without insurance or a Japanese social medical service card. Under $100 for three visits.

Note also that my first visit (EKG and consultation) was completed within an hour of walking into the clinic, without an appointment.

It was amazing. It was clean, blood draw was good and relatively painless, and best of all, my doctor spoke clear and fluent English.

The nurses who did my EKG and blood draw, plus the front desk staff, spoke limited English. However, the nurses had note pads with relevant phrases written clearly (e.g. "Please roll up your shirt and lay back"), so any medical instructions were delivered easily. I felt completely comfortable in their care.

It is important that you DON'T go to a hospital unless it's an emergency, or you have a referral. ALWAYS go to a general practitioner ("Internist" in Japan) or relevant specialist clinic before you go to the hospital. The hospital can charge you around $50 just for coming in for a non-emergency without a referral... when I tried to get an appointment, they didn't charge me, they just turned me away.

Remember, though, that once I found an appropriate doctor (an Internist), I didn't have an appointment and was still seen within an hour. So where did I find an English speaking doctor in Sapporo?

N18 Tsuji's Clinic.

https://www.tsuji-clinic-sapporo.com/english/

Their website linked above is quite useful but here is some information lifted directly from there:

DISEASES WE TREAT
  • Common cold and flu
  • Lifestyle related diseases such as hypertension, dyslipidemia and diabetes
  • Gastrointestinal diseases
  • Liver, gall bladder and pancreas diseases
  • Respiratory diseases such as pneumonia and bronchial asthma
  • Allergy
  • Thyroid diseases
 
EXAMINATIONS WE PERFORM
  • Blood analysis and urinalysis
  • Electrocardiogram 
  •  Audiogram
  • Spirogram (pulmonary function test)
  • X-ray (chest and abdomen)
  • Ultrasonography (abdomen and thyroid)
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy
  • Colonoscopy (including the endoscopic resection of colon polyp)
  • Influenza vaccine (flu shot) is also available.

...And here are some tips for your visit!

Tips:

  1. BRING CASH. They might take your foreign insurance but they will not take your foreign credit card.

  2. Wear (or bring) socks. You will take off your shoes upon entry and put on slippers. They're clean, but socks are still nice.

  3. Check the website for hours and building location.

 

I think that's it. If you have any question or find other great English speaking doctors in Sapporo PLEASE comment below!


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