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The health ministry plans to introduce standard methods to calculate the costs of services associated with medical treatment for foreign nationals, such as interpretation, by the end of March. This means medical institutions can have foreign patients shoulder an appropriate amount of the cost of an interpreter, which is an added expense for hospitals. Do you support this idea?

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I’m assuming they mean blue collar foreign nationals. These Ministries must have special departments just to figure out how to further scam the tax payers.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm just curious if anyone on here has ever heard of anyone being offered an interpreter at a hospital in Japan? I've only ever been to or had friends stay at hospitals in Tokyo so it's of course not a great sample on which to base an opinion.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

As long as it's not a massive hike, I'm ok with it. Haven't encountered any interpreters in the hospitals so far!

2 ( +3 / -1 )

The key word for me is "appropriate". If it's an extra cost for the medical institution then yes there should be appropriate payment by the patient. Determining what would be appropriate... that is something different.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just wondering. Doesn't dealing with deaf (or even blind or maybe even wheel-chaired) patients also incur extra cost to medical institutions (requiring extra staff, time, or services)? I suppose that explaining a medical procedure to a deaf patient might require a sign language interpreter. Do these patients pay more than others, for this specific service?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

J-Drake I'm just curious if anyone on here has ever heard of anyone being offered an interpreter at a hospital in Japan?

Yes. I had surgery at a Hospital in Kobe, and they offered me an interpreter.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

MiceVice: I suppose that explaining a medical procedure to a deaf patient might require a sign language interpreter. Do these patients pay more than others, for this specific service?

Good point.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I'm just curious if anyone on here has ever heard of anyone being offered an interpreter at a hospital in Japan?

When I was in hospital following the birth of my daughter at St. Luke's in Tokyo many many years ago, I was asked to interpret for an American man whose wife had been hospitalised; he needed to know how much he needed to pay, and when.

I assumed the doctor and nurses caring for his wife had the necessary linguistic skills to communicate with her, but the admin staff didn't have enough English to deal with him.

I suppose that explaining a medical procedure to a deaf patient might require a sign language interpreter.

Or the doctor and patient could pass written notes to each other?

the costs of services associated with medical treatment for foreign nationals, such as interpretation

I take it this means the individual foreign national would pay the (30%) of the cost of any necessary extra services such as interpretation. I suppose that seems reasonable; the (also not totally unreasonable) alternative is that the hospital raises their charges across the board and we all end up paying (a tiny bit?) more.

If they're taking about standard elevated charges for anyone and everyone without a Japanese passport, then Hell No.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

What standard are the interpreters up to?

3 ( +3 / -0 )

take it this means the individual foreign national would pay the (30%) of the cost of any necessary extra services such as interpretation

Why does the majority have to compensate for service they have no need for?

The government can shoulder the extra 33% as universal service from taxes collected but the individuals that needs this specific service needs to shoulder the remaining 67% and not from the national health insurance that is focused on compensating cost for treatment.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Why don't they charge those in positions of administrative responsibility who have failed to learn even basic conversational English after 6-8 years of study, or those employed to teach English who have failed to do so?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Why does the majority have to compensate for service they have no need for?

Because that's how a proper national health insurance scheme works. I have no need (any more) for reproductive services, never had any need for medical help with my prostate, will never again need an appendectomy, but the insurance premiums I pay in help fund those who do need such services, and many others I hopefully will never have any need for.

The government can shoulder the extra 33% as universal service from taxes collected but the individuals that needs this specific service needs to shoulder the remaining 67% and not from the national health insurance that is focused on compensating cost for treatment.

I get the feeling you have no idea how the Japanese health service works. There is no 'extra' 33%, no 'remaining' 67%.

I'm pretty sure funding interpretation services would work out a lot cheaper than paying for malpractice suits when people start getting the wrong treatment because of bad linguistics between doctor and patient. A stitch-in-time kinda situation.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This sounds like charging handicapped individual more because you had to install a ramp out front. These things should be priced in.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Agreeing with Cleo above. If I found that my eventual bill automatically incuded interpreting services I would be quite annoyed.

Experience. When I awoke from a period of artificially-induced coma, I could not hold a pencil, and I could not speak, but I guess I registered understanding with my eyes.

Optional then? Yes, fine if you have requested an interpreter, but an across-the-board payment for all 'foreigners' would definitely not be acceptable.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

No, because I know they won't add more people, they'll just ask staff who listed "studied English (or other language) in university" Under "skills" to intepret. They're not going to hire people fluent in any and all languages to be around all day in case there are foreign patients. All major hospitals should already have this. Hell, even most major stations and some airport staff still Don't have people with English that could pass for communication level.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No this is not medical treatment it is preferential treatment like private rooms which is charged to the ones who request them on top of medical treatment. Since the government is considering to pay part of the tab is fine but no amount from the public health insurance. Discuss it with a private health insurance company for an interpreter package if needed.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 get the feeling you have no idea how the Japanese health service works. There is no 'extra' 33%, no 'remaining' 67%.

Right back at you.

All are required to enter a public health insurance policy.

An individual who needs treatment also pays an amount for medical treatment.

What you do not know is that the government also provides a match fund to the amount collected through the public health insurance program.

That is how it works here.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Dubious about it, just recently they admitted that pregnant women were being charged more as more care was needed even adding the extra charge when getting glasses? The health department have a miserable history of making decisions.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Since the government is considering to pay part of the tab is fine but no amount from the public health insurance.

You realise that whether 'the government' pays or 'the public health insurance' pays, it all eventually comes out of the same pocket?

All are required to enter a public health insurance policy.

Yes

An individual who needs treatment also pays an amount for medical treatment.

Yes. 10% or 30% of the actual cost, depending on one's status, with a monthly upper limit on very high-cost treatment. I understand some local authorities pick up the whole of the tab for children.

What you do not know is that the government also provides a match fund to the amount collected through the public health insurance program.

Where do you think the government gets that money from?

And where do you get the 'extra' 33% and 'remaining' 67%?

this is not medical treatment it is preferential treatment like private rooms which is charged to the ones who request them on top of medical treatment

I hardly think having the doctor understand your symptoms so that he knows what to treat you for is 'preferential treatment'.

The thing is, it helps the nursing staff do their job, while a private room benefits only the patient.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

You're forgetting that taxes are collected from various sources such as corporations and premiums collected from other nations through government investments.

Like I posted earlier the government can pitch in 33% directly but the public health insurance program is for medical treatment only and not for preferential treatments for language service if any expats require this then the individual should pay the remaining 67%.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Like I posted earlier the government can pitch in 33% directly ..... the individual should pay the remaining 67%.

I still don't see where you pulled those figures from. There is no bit of the national health scheme where the government pays 33% and the patient 67%.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

as most medical training is conducted in English, the doctors and nurses should both be able to speak to the patient in English. Ive been misdiagnoised, and the excuse was, as usual, "I cant speak Engrish." Well learn already then.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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