Wednesday, June 11, 2008

National Health Care Paid for Premature twins

In 1999, my twins were born in a hospital in Japan, 14 weeks premature. My first thought, after I found out that they had been stabilized in the NICU, where basic costs were 80,000 yen per day, was that my husband and I would have to sell our house and that we would probably be forever in debt. As a native of a country without universal healthcare, this was the only outcome I could imagine.

Happily, national and supplemental insurance covered my twins' four and five month hospital stays. Japanese national insurance also covered my daughter's subsequent hospital stays (she was hospitalized at least ten times after she got out of the USA due to hermias, and respiratory infections which required stays in the very expensive ICU, HCU and CCU.)

Although I love my country, I believe that my family can not afford to live there. Without the Japanese national healthcare system, my family would have been rendered impoverished.

Suzanne Kamata
South Carolina

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