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Getting Sick... in Japan
Price: 1550 yen
I recently had the experience of getting sick in Japan, and for the first time in around eight years. The real reason I finally went to a doctor was to make sure everything was okay because I had some lingering symptoms that seemed to be just allergy related. Following a sore throat, fever, and a couple days of rest, I got congested and started coughing a lot.
I have been to doctors in Japan, more than once, for non-illness related things like allergies. Each time I'm sort of tempted to brag to everyone back home how cheap it is to see a doctor and fill prescriptions in Japan, just with the regular kokumin kenko hoken. Not that it's so different here, I still feel frustrated that symptoms are treated with medicines instead of preventative or more holistic care. But I got Five Prescriptions (for allergy, fever, cough, and an anti-bacterial one) and including the doctor consultation, the grand total was 1550 yen.
When I went to the kusuri counter in the doctor's office, I completely expected to pay more for the prescriptions, but that was it! I always forget how cheap (or not completely corrupt) the healthcare outside of the US is.
Staff were all kind and the doctor threw in a few English phrases even though I had my Japanese husband with me to cover me when I couldn't explain something well. And to help translate the new patient form for me as well for that matter. Lots of kanji I don't know yet. the office does Not take appointments and all patients are served on a first come first served basis. They have open hours every day, including Sunday mornings. Really convenient, with prescriptions filled right there, should I need their services again (maybe for insurance covered allergy medicine).