Part IV
Public Health Services
〔1〕General Health Checks
Foreign residents are encouraged to make use of the various free or low-cost health check-ups and immunizations which are provided by local municipalities.
A list of these examinations,schedules,and designated hospitals and clinics is printed in the local weekly or monthly newspaper,(in Japanese).
Health care provided by Akita Prefecture and municipalities (shi cho son) include the following:
Prefecture-sponsored Health Care
Akita Prefecture has eight Public Health Centers,(Hokenjo),one located in each major city.These centers primarily provide consultation regarding issues such as nutrition,parenting,child care for new mothers,and TB.They also do AIDS testing and infant health checks for basies up to three years of age.Contact your town office for the location nearest you.
For those who want a highly comprehensive overall physical examination,the Ningen Dokku exams are also offered.This entails numerous exams taken in detail,usually over a one or two day period.Costs run near \30,000.


Municipal-sponsored Health Care
◆General Checkup Kihon Kenko Shinsa
As recommended by the Ministry of Health abd Welfare,each city offers general health checks for residents over 40 who do not already receive the testing through their place of employment.Basic tests are free,but an extra fee of \500〜\1,000 may be charged.Blood pressure check,urinalysis,blood test and chest X-ray are taken.
Check-ups received at one's place of employment are called Shokuba Kenko Shindan.
◆Screening for Tuberculosis Kekkaku Yobo Kenshin
Those with persistent coughs and phlegm are encouraged to get this checkup.
◆Women's Health Checkup Josei no Herushii Chekku
Checks for female cancers and pap smears are given for women over age 30.Blood,urine,weight,blood pressure,and hearing checks are given for women over age 40.


〔2〕Birthing & Child Care
When pregnant,it is necessary to first register your pregnancy with the Public Health Promotion Section (Shakai Fukushi Ka) of your local town office.At that time you will receive the 'Mother-Childreh Handbook For Health' (Boshi Techo) which provides space to record vaccinations,child growth,and care.It is one of the most important records for both the mother and child.
For those enrolled in the National Insurance Plan,a reimbursement payment for childbirth,between \250,000 and \300,000 for delivery expenses is made after the delivery.
To enroll in the Birth Care System,multiple visits to the town office may be needed.In all,you should register for a pre-birth medical care booklet,immunization care,and the Birthing Reimbursement Plan.
Pre-natal Classes are offered (in Japanese) to women who are 5-7 months pregnant on dealing with pregnant life,nutrition,breast feeding,and post-natal care.The classes are held once a month and a session is concluded in three meetings.
◆Infant Care
Many towns offer free medical treatment as both in- and out-patient care for infants aged 0-1.Health Exam Services are offered for infants four,seven,ten,and eighteen months old to check general health condition,growth,and provide dental care.Only two year old infants can take advantage of this as in-patients.
A health insurance card,with the infants name printed,and a certificate of your income is necessary.
Many municipalities provide an allowance for children under three years old.Payment depends on your household income,but generally \5,000/month is paid for a first and second child,and \10,000/month for a third child or more.
A hanko stamp or signature is OK,and you need to bring a certificate of your pension membership,and the bank account number for direct-deposit.
◆Checkup for New Mothers Sanpu Kenko Kenshin
Free urinalysis,blood pressure check,and internal medical exam are offered for new mothers at the time of the baby's 4-month checkup.Although,the services may be crowded,lack private discussion time with the doctor,and little medical history information taken,the service is there if you choose to use it.
◆Preventative Vaccinations
Vaccinations provided by cities for polio myelitis,diphtheria,whooping cough,lockjaw,measles,tuberculin,and BCG.


◆Vision Testing
If you notice changes in your vision and want it checked,contact an opthalmologist,(Ganka-i).In Japan,normal vision is 5/5 measured from 5m.
◆Women's Health
Women should contact a gynecologist for yeast infections or an annual pap smear.If you desire more privacy,choose a small clinic.At a large hospital,waiting patients can generally hear what is being discussed with the doctor though the small curtain,Also,a curtain usually separates the patient and doctor during the exam.Ask to pull back the curtain if you wanto to see the doctor's face.
In Japan,Cervical Cancer Exams (Shikyu Gan Kenshin) are not started until the woman reaches thirty or has her first paregrancy,in contrast with the US,where exams start at eighteen.Pap smears (Shikyu Saibo Shin) or (Sumea Testo) may be done as a part of municipal health checks,for women over thirty.Women in their twenties,can request the test directly at a OGBYN clinic.
Menstruation Gekkei/Seiri 月経、生理 Pregnancy Ninshin 妊娠
Hemorrhage Fusei Shukketu 不正出血 Miscarriage Ryuzan 流産
Breast Cancer Nyugan 乳癌 Abortion Chuzetsu 中絶
Morning Sickness Tsuwari つわり Birth Control Hinin 避妊
Inflammation of Bladder Bokoen 膀胱炎 Yeast Infection Yisutokin kansen Byo イースト菌感染病

◆Men's Health
Prostate cancer (Zenritsu sen Gan) in Japanese men is very low,but a blood test can be taken if you feel a need.


〔3〕AIDS Testing
AIDS Counselling Center
Akita Prefecture Health Center Akita City,Nakadori 2-1-52
HOURS:8:30AM-5:00PM Closed Sat., San., & Holidays
TEL:018-833-8521 Ext.37
AIDS Clinic (HIV Testing)
Akita Prefecture Health Center
Testing every Friday 9:00AM-11:00AM
Call ahead for an appointment
Cost:\1,760 (The test is free for those who worry that they may likely be infected.)
Test results given the following Friday (9:00AM-10:30AM)

秋田保健所 秋田市中通2丁目1-52
時間:午前8:30〜午後5:00 土、日、祭日は休診
秋田保健所 毎週金曜日午前9:00〜11:00

〔4〕Family Planning
Condoms (condomu,or sukin) are sold at drug stores,supermarkets,and sometimes by door-to-door sales.
The pill has not yet been authorized for use as a contraceptive in Japan,although similar hormones are available for treating menstrual irregularities.
If you are already taking the pill when you come to Japan,inform your doctor.
Remember,if anti-biotics are prescribed,they will counteract the function of the pill.
〔5〕Admission to a Hospital
Hospital stays in Japan are sometimes required for conditons which are often treated at home in western countries,and generally occur for a longer peruiod of time.
Most hospitals have policies stating what each patient should bring with them.In general,you'll need to bring your own pajamas,towels,coffee cup,glass,silverware,wash bowl,slippers,hangers,laundry bag,small clock,and other personal items.
If it is difficult to communicate in spoken English,remember if you try to write down reauests,written English might convey your ideas faster.
Remember,in Japan,family members are often expected to tend to the patient's personal needs,do laundry,help with meals etc., If such a person is not available,you may ask the nurses to help.
However,traditionally nurses in Japan do not attend to personal care.If you are unable to bathe,wash your hair,dress, yourself,and do not have a family member to help,you may have to hire a helper (Kaseifu),who will do such things.