To gauge a health-care system’s success, it’s standard to consider three points: quality, coverage, and cost. On all three measures, Japan’s Healthcare stands at or near the top in every comparative ranking. The Japanese have the world’s longest life expectancy and the best recovery rates from just about every major disease. Infant mortality is less than half the U.S. rate. Japan usually leads the world in rankings of “avoidable mortality” -its effectiveness in curing diseases that can be cured.
– T.R. Reid, Newsweek, August 16, 2010
Still new in the area of medical tourism
Given the high quality of medical procedures and relative lower costs, medical care in Japan is a good value. This is not the “bargain-basement” country for healthcare, but it is a place for people seeking reasonably priced and competent diagnosis and treatment.
Throughout the country there are many University Hospitals offering the full-range of medical services, large and medium sized public and private facilities as well as specialized clinics that focus on specific diagnosis and treatments.
Medical equipment in Japan tends to be updated often with state-of-the-art imaging, cancer, cardiology, dental, cosmetic surgery, ophthalmological and other facilities throughout the country. Proton beam therapy as well as liver cancer treatment are some of the areas for consideration.
Japan is also known for its advanced health screening facilities, which offer a range of options.
Japan is a relative newcomer to the medical tourism arena, however they are slow and steadily on the way to becoming one of the key healthcare providers in the Region. The Japanese government has identified medical travel as a key initiative for the economy and is encouraging hospitals and others to create the necessary infrastructure to provide easier access for overseas patients. Most recently, the government has introduced a 6-month medical visa, specifically for overseas patients planning to come to Japan for medical diagnosis and treatment.
There are over 160,000 hospitals, clinics and dentists in Japan. While they have their own accrediation system, recently some hospitals have started to apply and receive JCI accreditation. There are currently 5 JCI accredited hospitals.
English speakers are not as prevalent as in Singapore or Malaysia, but the hospitals catering to overseas patients generally have the necessary language skills available.