Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Another thought on Japanese healthcare

...perhaps not the last of them.

By the way, here is an interesting article comparing our healthcare in the U.S. with that in Japan.

I actually talked about this with Joe a couple weeks ago, but weekend medical service in Japan is fairly limited. Joe recounted a story about his girlfriend's brother being really sick on a Sunday and the family going to the hospital and waiting for it to open.

This weekend I was in Saga and Yoshie wasn't feeling too hot. She said she'd go to the hospital the next day, and I suggested we go together that day. But no, it was a Sunday - the hospital was closed, she told me.

I understand that there are some emergency (ambulance) services and that facilities vary from place to place...but it just seems pretty shocking to me that there are hospitals that aren't open 24/7. If it's a matter of budget, how about cutting back an hour or so during the week? Sure, maybe a few less people with runny noses would be treated, but at least there would be some recourse for people who are sick or injured on Sundays...


  1. Budgets for medical service facilities are quite limited here in Japan. Yeah, it's worse in rural areas, but also pretty bad in the cities as well.
    In the US, they have to offer huge cash incentives to get doctors or physician's assistants to work in the more rural areas. Getting medical care in those areas is almost impossible at times.

    By the way, I've killed all my sites (including Tokyo Filter) except one. I'm now just blogging at

  2. Hey Billy,

    Yeah - I noticed that you shut down Tokyo Filter. Shame to see it, but I hope your new blogging lifestyle is more relaxing for you!

    Indeed. I was reading about the Japanese system yesterday, and apparently the government quite strictly regulates how much money insurance companies and doctors can make. So on top of the locational limitations, doctors are usually given more of an incentive to just treat as many patients as quickly as possible rather than provide thorough and focused care and treatment. Of course since many Japanese people go to the doctor for things like the common cold, this usually works out ok...