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Have you ever had any problems finding English speaking doctors and hospitals located in Osaka? Osaka prefecture provides a searvice that you can search clinics and hospitals which as English speaking doctors and staff. You can chose area or city, languages and the specialized field.

I personally went to one of the clinics when I was pregnant. The doctor had worked for some hospitals in US. The doctor speaks English but most of staff and nurses didn't speak English. But still my husband could get explanations from the doctor in English.

If you look for clinics or hospitals with English speaking doctors or staff, this search system might be helpful.

Japan and the following contries have signed International Social Security Agreement. Some of the agreements are implemented and others are on the way.

Sosial Insurance Agancy

Germany, United Kingdom, Korea, United States, Belgium, France, Canada, Australia, Netherlands have signed the international social security agreement and implemented.
Czech Republic, Spain, Italy have signed and under preparation for implementation.
Ireland is under negociation and Hungary, Switzerland, Sweden are under preparation for negotiation.

See more details at agency site
It seems now that every employee has received the documents ending their employment at Nova.For those of you who have no more health insurance, i would advice to go to the national health insurance counter at your ward office.The bill for this insurance was usually pretty high when working for Nova. But now the dismissal give your reduced rate. I saw my bill go from 22 000¥ a month to 6 700¥ a month because of my unemployment. I think that it is a good move, especially for those who were on Shakkai Hokken.For those who were in JMA, be careful you might have to cover your bill for the last 2 years because you were then in an illegal position. If such issue araises, the general union might have some advice for you, so contact them. But basically you can argue about the fact that you were not responsible for this situation and then you can't afford such a back payment. Do not sign papers that you are not sure about what they say. It is better to find a Japanese speaker to come with you at the office.Here is my piece of advice from my own experience.Good luck to all.

Our son got a flue and we took him to an emergency hospital for kids on Sunday.

At first we didn't know it was flue but our son got around 40 degree temparature. On sunday most of the hospitals are closed and we needed to take him to an emergency one : Nakano Kodomo Byoin.

A doctor spoke English fortunatelly and I didn't need to translate what he said for my husband.

The total amount ¥22,000 is very expensive but Osaka local government gives special discound for kids' medication. The actual amount we paid was ¥500 on that day.This kind of discount depends on your local government in Japan. To get this discount, the kid needs to be involved in somebody's health insurance, usually one of his/her parent.

Further details about health insurance discount, ask your town office.

Osaka City Wards List

Ward Location
Kita 530-8401
2-1-27 Ogimachi, Kita-ku, Osaka City
Miyakojima 534-8501
2-16-20 Nakanocho, Miyakojima-ku, Osaka City
5-15-21 Nakanocho, Miyakojima-ku, Osaka City *
Fukushima 553-8501
3-17-23 Yoshino, Fukushima-ku, Osaka City
Konohana 554-8501
1-8-4 Kasugadekita, Konohana-ku, Osaka City
Chuo 541-8518
1-2-27 Kyutarocho, Chuo-ku, Osaka City
Nishi 550-8501
4-5-14 Shimmachi, Nishi-ku, Osaka City
Minato 552-8510
1-15-25 Ichioka, Minato-ku, Osaka City
Taisho 551-8501
2-7-95 Chishima, Taisho-ku, Osaka City
Tennoji 543-8501
20-33 Shimpoincho, Tennoji-ku, Osaka City
4-3-2 Ueshio, Tennoji-ku, Osaka City *
Naniwa 556-8501
1-4-20 Shikitsuhigashi, Naniwa-ku, Osaka City
Nishiyodogawa 555-8501
1-2-10 Mitejima, Nishiyodogawa-ku, Osaka City
Yodogawa 532-8501
1-18-21 Jusohigashi, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka City
1-18-31 Jusohigashi, Yodogawa-ku, Osaka City *
Higashiyodogawa 533-8501
2-1-4 Toyoshin, Higashiyodogawa-ku, Osaka City
Higashiyodogawa Branch Office 535-0023
4-15-1 Higashiawaji, Higashiyodogawa-ku, Osaka City
Higashinari 537-8501
2-8-4 Oimazatonishi, Higashinari-ku, Osaka City
1-19-29 Oimazatonishi, Higashinari-ku, Osaka City *
Ikuno 544-8501
3-1-19 Katsuyamaminami, Ikuno-ku, Osaka City
Asahi 535-8501
1-1-17 Omiya, Asahi-ku, Osaka City
2-5-26 Morishoji, Asahi-ku, Osaka City *
Joto 536-8510
3-4-29 Chuo, Joto-ku, Osaka City
3-5-11 Chuo, Joto-ku, Osaka City *
Tsurumi 538-8510
5-4-19 Yokozutsumi, Tsurumi-ku, Osaka City
Abeno 545-8501
1-1-40 Fuminosato, Abeno-ku, Osaka City
Suminoe 559-8601
3-1-17 Misaki, Suminoe-ku, Osaka City
3-5-16 Hamaguchihigashi, Suminoe-ku, Osaka City *
Sumiyoshi 558-8501
1-8-18 Tonotsuji, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka City
1-4-8 Tonotsuji, Sumiyoshi-ku, Osaka City *
Higashisumiyoshi 546-8501
1-13-4 Higashitanabe, Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka City
Yata Branch Office 546-0023
6-7-25 Yata, Higashisumiyoshi-ku, Osaka City
Hirano 547-8580
3-8-19 Setoguchi, Hirano-ku, Osaka City
Nagayoshi Branch Office 547-0016
2-6-58 Nagayoshinagahara, Hirano-ku, Osaka City
Uriwari Branch Office 547-0024
7-2-7 Uriwari, Hirano-ku, Osaka City
Kami Branch Office 547-0004
1-9-3 Kamikuratsukuri, Hirano-ku, Osaka City
Nishinari 557-8501
1-5-20 Kishinosato, Nishinari-ku, Osaka City

I have been looking for a good dentist. Some friends recommended me the "Okamura shika Clinic". I went there for the first time last week and it is a good dentist. It is quite easy to find. It is at the station Tenjimbashi suji 6 chome on the Tanimachi line. You take the exit 4 and and there it is right around the corner on your right.

Okamura Dental Clinic info in Japanese

大阪府大阪市北区天神橋7−1−10 天六阪急ビル2F
Tenroku Hankyu bld. 2F, 1-10, Tenjinbashi 7-chome, Kitaku, Osaka City, Osaka
Osaka Subway Tanimachi Line or Sakaisuji Line: Tenjinbashisuji Rokuchome Sta.
Tenroku Hankyu bld. 2F, 1-10, Tenjinbashi 7-chome, Kitaku, Osaka City, Osaka

Information Plaza Osaka provide a list of hospitals and clinics where foreign languages are spoken in "Living Information" web site. Also you can get Health Insurance info.

Nova Corporation is one of the biggest English teaching school in Japan. It could be the easiest way for you to find a job if you have a BA in any field and you are a native speaker in any of the taught languages. They teach Chinese, English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.

According to wikipedia

The Nova Group is the largest of the Big Four eikaiwa (or private English teaching companies) in Japan, with approximately 50% of total market share. In 2004, Nova totaled about 70.6 billion yen in sales, and as of March, 2004, there were 618 Nova branches and the Multimedia Center located in Osaka, Japan.
This sounds pretty big company and you might expect a good benefit including health insurance. But wikipedia says,
Typical monthly pay for a new instructor ranges from ¥220,000-¥290,000 before taxes, rent and utilities, according to their website. Actual salaries are about ¥180,000 for part time, and ¥220,000 for the most common 34 hour per week shift, and ¥250,000 for those who by virtue of their visa must work 40 hours per week. Nova-provided accommodation is usually about ¥55,000 per month including up to ¥8,000 in utilities.

My husband works at Nova and teaches French. He is inrolled in the employees' health insurance system called "shakaihoken" because I made a phone call and claimed so. Other normal Japanese companies proceed this process without any request from their employee or his or her family. Now Nova corporation does not take anybody who works 40 hours per week, which means they only provide only a private insurance based in New Zealand, the legality of which is not obvious. If you want to be in some health insurance system, you can be involved the National health insurance system.

At first, my husband wass enrolled in the National health insurance system and paid 5,000yen per month or so. It is relatively cheap compared with Employees' Health Insurance System Premiums. BUT next fiscal year, which start in April, the premiums went up to 50,000 yen per month!! I am enrolled in the Enployees' Health Insurance and we didn't have any child. So he needed to pay the maxmum premium in that year. Then I started wondering if this is happening to all foreigners? After I studied a bit about Health Insurance System in Japan, if an employee works more than 40 hours per month, company needs to put their employees into the Employees' Health Insurance system. As you might imagine, I picked up a phone and called Nova and demand on putting him into EHI system immediately. At that time, which is 5 years ago, a lot of English teachin schools in Japan had cases under trials. Now Nova learned things from this experience and they take people only working less than 37 hours per week. There are a lot of people who thinks they are covered by private health insurance. BUT actually when they get injured, most of the cases are not covered including breaking bones and giving birth. Pre-existing desease are also usually dismissed by the private covers.

When you are enrolled in EHI system, you will be enrolled in Employees' Pension Insurance system which company will pay the half of the premium. When you go back to your home country, you will get Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments according to number of month of your coverage under the EPI system.

This is not only the situation for Nova teachers but also other teachers teaching at English teaching schools in Japan.

Teachers take to the road for health & pension rights.

Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments are granted, in principle, on request to persons who satisfy the following four conditions after they withdraw from the National Pension, the Employees' Pension Insurance or the Mutual Aid Association and file a claim within two years of leaving Japan.

(1) Persons who do not possess Japanese citizenship.

(2) Persons who have paid National Pension Insurance contributions as a Category 1 insured person for a total of six months or more including months in the contribution payment period and periods corresponding to half months in the 50 percent contribution exemption period, or Employees’ Pension Insurance contributions for six months or more.

(3) Persons who do not have a place of residence in Japan (only those who had a proper visa on or after November 9, 1994 and then left Japan).

(4) Persons who have never been qualified for receipt of pension benefits (including Disability Allowance).

Get further info including "Claim Form for the Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments" provided by government. You can have a PDF file in English, Chinese, Korean, Purtuguese, Spanish and Indonesian.
Lump-sum Withdrawal Payments (Social Insurance Agency)
Polio Vaccination in Osaka City in April
Free Polio vaccine for children between 3 monthes old and 90 monthes old is provided by Osaka City.
If you have children who is under 90 monthes, 7 years and 6 monthes old, you can give your children a free polio vaccine.
Polio vaccine is only provided by city health center.
If you miss the following time, you useally need to wait 6 monthes.
Make sure that you get contact with your local officer before to go.

Tel: 06-6313-9857
13th Apr (Thu), 27th Apr (Thu) 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Place: Osaka Municipal Kita-ku Center

Tel: 06-6464-9857
Date: 4th Apr (Tue), 25th Apr (Tue) 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Place: Osaka Municipal Fukushima-ku center

Tel: 06-6267-9857
Date: 12th Apr (Web), 26th Apr (Wed) 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Place: Osaka Municipal Chuo-ku center

Tel: 06-6532-9857
Date: 6th Apr (Thu), 25th Apr (Tue) 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Place: Osaka Municipal Nishi-ku center

Tel: 06-4394-9857
Date: 6th Apr (Thu), Date: 25th Apr (Tue) 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Place: Osaka Municipal Taisho-ku Hall

Tel: 06-6774-9882
Date: 5th Apr (Wed), 19th Apr (Wed) 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Place: Tennoji-ku Health Center

Tel: 06-4809-9857
Date: 5th Apr (Wed) 2:00pm - 3:30pm
Place: Higashi Yodogawa-ku Health Center

Date: 10th Apr (Mon)
Place: Health Center Brunch office in Awaji

Date: 20th Apr (Thu), 25th Apr (Tue)
Place: Higashi Yodogawa-ku Health Center

Tel: 06-6930-9857
Date: 6th Apr (Thu), 13th Apr (Thu), 18th Apr (Tue), 26th Apr (Wed) 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Place: Brunch of Joto-ku Health Center

Tel: 06-6682-9857
Date: 6th Apr (Thu) 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Place: Osaka Municipal Suminoe-ku Hall

Date: 10th Apr (Mon)
Place: Nanko Port Town Center Bldg

Date: 13th Apr (Thu), 20th Apr (Thu)
Place: Osaka Municipal Suminoe Hall

Tel: 06-6694-9857
Date: 5th Apr (Wed), 6th Apr (Thu), 12th Apr (Wed), 20th Apr (Thu) 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Place: Suminoe-ku Health Center Brunch Office

Tel: 06-4399-9857
Date: 4th Apr (Tue) 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Place: Higashisumiyoshi-ku Health Center

Date: 12th Apr (Web)
Place: Higashisumiyoshi-ku Health Center Brunch in Yada

Date: 18th Apr (Tue)
Place: Higashisumiyoshi-ku Health Center

Date: 27th Apr (Thu)
Place: Higashisumiyoshi-ku Town Office Brunch in Yada

Tel: 06-4302-9857
Date: 4th Apr (Tue) 1:30pm - 3:00pm
Place: Osaka Municipal Hirano-ku Hall

Date: 14th Apr (Fri)
Place: Community Plaza Hirano

Date: 18th Apr (Tue)
Place: Community Plaza Hirano

Date: 19th Apr (Wed)
Place: Hirano-ku Health Center

Date: 26th Apr (Wed)
Place: Hirano-ku Health Center
Have you ever had problems or difficulties to communicate with a Japanese doctor?
Even if you don't have any problem with talking to your Japanese friends, it might be a different story to talk to a doctor.
To search a medical institutes, this site will be useful for you.
But unfortunately, according to the announcement of the webmaster, the medical search part will be closed at the end of this March.

Online Medical Handbook
If you cannot find a clinic or hospotal close to you, you can print out the form from Medical Handbook for Foreigners. The top page of this site is written in Japanese but each file is written in Japanese and another foreign language.
The following languages are avairable now.

1. "英語" English
2. "ポルトガル" Portugues
3. "スペイン語" Spanish
4. "タガログ語" Tagalog

This handout consists of application fordiagnosis, medical examination by interview, explanation of examination and so on.
You can communicate with your doctor with this written format. This will help you a lot.
Preparation for an emergency is very important as you know.
Get ¥300,000 Lump-sum Payment from your Health Insurance
The hospital stay for childbirth is about one week in Japan. A delivery without complications generally costs between ¥300,000 and ¥500,000. You are eligible for a lump-sum payment of around ¥300,000 if you belong to National Health Insurance or Social Health Insurance. Apply once your child is born, at the health insurance section of your local municipal office if you have National Health Insurance (kokumin kenko hoken), or your company if you have Social Health Insurance (shakai hoken). Expect a delay of a month or two before payment.

The Family Registration Law
When a child is born, you must register the birth at your local municipal office. The Family Registration Law requires all foreigners as well as Japanese who have a child in Japan to register the child’s birth within 14 days.

You need to take some documents and other things.
Be sure to contact with local office and ask them what you need to bring for registration.