Saka General Hospital 坂総合病院

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  • JTsuzuki

    on Apr 29

    Saka Hospital: Shiogama's Best

    My first time visiting Saka hospital was for a gynecological check up shortly after I moved to Miyagi in 2010. I was amazed at the tiny parking lot and long wait times just to park. As it was my first gyno appointment in Japan, I was also surprised by the presence of the curtain, usually drawn so that the patient feels a sense of privacy-- the doctor is only looking at your genitals, not at your face. To my relief, the curtain could be drawn back so that I could see what was going on, and while they had not expected me to do this, the doctor did admit that foreign women tended to prefer their check-ups without the curtain.

    Three years later I was in that same room when they told me a bunch of Japanese words that I later realized meant that I had an incompetent cervix and the only hope of maintaining gestation of my daughter was bed rest. I would spend the next three months moving from this hospital to a larger one in Sendai, then home for a month, then back to Saka for a month. In this time I became well acquainted with the staff and came to appreciate the special care I received here, especially after my stay in the other hospital.

    At Saka, the doctors stayed late to talk to my husband when he came by after work, making sure that I had the translations I needed and that both of the parents were involved in the decision making. That alone was amazing to me. They were patient with my lack of fluency and worked with me more than I would have expected.

    I do not recommend the food as they appear to have no understanding of pregnancy aversions and mine (tofu and mushrooms) were common in many meals. In addition, if your friends and loved ones bring you food and you are caught eating it, you will receive a letter explaining that the dietitians at the hospital are in charge of your diet, so how dare you mess with it by adding fruit, even as the international daily recommended fruit and vegetable intake is completely ignored. I still believe that half a banana a day is not enough fruit for a pregnant woman.

    Even with those issues, I fully recommended this hospital to a friend who recently became pregnant and needed to find a birthing center of some kind in the area. I did this because the staff still went out of their way to treat me kindly. The best example of this is when I showed up to my check-up (a week after being released) in labor and they moved me to a birthing room despite all of their beds being full. I was told later that they managed to free up a bed for me, likely by asking a second- or third-time mother to forego the remainder of her week long stay.

    They could have sent me away and had every right to but didn't. They waited to make sure that I knew what was going on every step of the way.

    I can't say that for any other hospital I have visited.

    Geba station on the Senseki line is the easiest way to get to the hospital and many patrons even park at the station rather than waiting in line to park behind the hospital. The pictures provided here show the view of the hospital from the station, a map of how to get to the main entrance from the station, the view from a room in the maternity ward, and a sample of the food served to those on long-term stay.

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