Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Japanese system is easy to use and transparent

Eye infection

I was on vacation last summer and left my contact lense in a little bit too long. My eye became red and stayed pretty red even after the lense had been removed for a couple of days.

When I returned to Japan, the redness persisted so I decided to visit an eye specialist. Japan's Universal Health Care system allows participants to go to any doctor at any clinic/hospital, many of which are private; there are no 'health care networks' here like there are in the US. You simply go where ever you'd like to go (freedom!). In my case, it was an eye clinic 2 minutes' walk from my office.

I presented my health care card (monthly premiums are deducted directly from my pay in the same manner as social security in the US) to the receptionist and was seen by the doctor after a 20 minute wait.

The doctor gave me an eye exam and two different types of eyedrop medication. The cost for the visit & medication was $20. The entire ordeal took less than an hour and my eye returned to normal about 4 days later.

I like the Japanese system a lot. It's easy-to-use and transparent. As both a user & business person, I find it highly affordable and hassle-free. I would recommend a similar system to anyone.

Mike Stensrud
Tokyo (via Oregon)

No comments: