My first visit to the Doc & Health Screening

So… the nausea got worse and I was comtemplating on whether to go tothe doctor’s.

I had a lot of worries; I’m probably a born worrier (not warrior).

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One of the stupid worries I had was being awkward because I actually went to the clinic twice within 3 days to inquire about health screening. I went anyway despite feeling a lil better, just in case I won’t recover over the weekends and it’s an important day on Monday. And also since I’m enrolled in National Health Insurance already and everyone says it’s cheap.

I didn’t really have a good impression after going to the doc and decided that I’m never coming back to this clinic again, but slapped myself in the face the very next day as I went back to the same clinic for health screening.

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Anyway, just to record my experiences and share if anyone ever passes by, haha.

Going to the doc

Firstly, make sure you are enrolled in National Heath Insurance. It doesn’t matter whether you’ve paid or not, as long as you have your insurance card but it doesn’t mean you don’t have to pay for it. I haven’t paid mine as I’m waiting for the revised invoice to be sent to me. You will only pay 30% of all medical fees and medicines if you have a valid insurance card. (If insurance cannot be used e.g. health screening, it will usually be written down somewhere).

Got this sample from Google search. The “card” is actually a piece of paper, something like the Provisional Driving License we have in Singapore.

For the clinic that I went, it’s nearby the station where I stay, so it’s something like a neighbourhood clinic. When I first went in (feeling awkward because I enquired 2 times and guess they probably remembered me), I told the reception that I was not feeling well. I can’t remember exactly but the reception asked me for 保険カード(hoken-kaado) and 診査券 (shinsa-ken) which I asked her what is a shinsa-ken, and she asked if it’s my first time there. So she only took my insurance card (hoken-kaado), and asked me to fill in a form aka first consultation sheet.

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First consutation sheet, varies by each clinic

On the consultation sheet, you’d fill in your particulars, and answer health related questions. Also, you’d choose from the list what is it that you are not feeling well about today and write down how long it has been. Then, you’d sit down and wait for the doctor to call your name. The waiting time on a Friday afternoon is like 5-10mins on the day that I went. I feel a little cheated probably because I went in to the room for like 30seconds and I was out. Basically in Singapore, even if it’s wayang (for show), doctor will still check your blood pressure at the very least.

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In the clinic that I went to, I went into the room, the doctor look at the consultation sheet and his computer, and hastily confirmed with me the symptoms that I wrote, asked me 1 or 2 questions, and told me that he will give me this med for this, that med for that, and I’m done. I’m like har so fast ah? Never take blood pressure and check heartbeat one. But it seems like that’s how it is most of the time here. So anyway, I paid about 1000yen (which is the 30%) for it, and I have to take the prescription to a pharmacy (which there is one next door) to get the meds. The meds cost me another 980yen (30% as well). In terms of what the patient pays, it’s still cheaper than Singapore though. In the end I recovered without taking the meds lol.

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My har-so-fast-ah face

Health Screening

And so I was required to do a health screening for employment purposes. Decided not to go back to the clinic but ended up there anyway. Was planning to go to this English speaking clinic which specializes in health screening (previously researched before coming to Japan), and luckily I didn’t just go there. When I called in the morning, they said that it’s weekdays only for health screening and I need to call in to make an appointment on weekdays. The clinic that I ended up in, first I went there to check since the company told me that the items in health screening are fixed, and that they can charge to the company directly if I tell them the company name and address (doubtful). But they said that they have a few packages and it depends on the company so I checked with the company and I went back to the clinic the 2nd time to make a health screening appointment only to be told they don’t take appointments on that, I’ll just have to walk in. So it really depends on the clinic.

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Well, I ended up at the same clinic for the health screening. This time, I went to the reception, told them I wanna do a health screening and passed them the 診査券 (shinsa-ken) which is like the clinic’s card that they made the day before and told them the package aka “course” I’m choosing. And they can’t charge the company directly but they will give me a receipt which is understandable lah. If it’s so easy, anyone can just anyhow charge to those big companies right? So I had to wait because it’s crowded, but they make it sound so serious because the nurse was like you’ll need to wait for a very long time, is it okay? Turns out, a very long time = 40mins~1hr, but I didn’ really felt like I waited very long because it includes the health screening time which totals up to about 20~30mins.

So first, the nurse asked if I’m able to give the urine sample but I told her later since I don’t feel like peeing yet. I tried to drink water everytime I was seated at the waiting area lol. But I was surprised as I briefly saw her holding a paper cup when she asked. In Singapore, this is what we usually get right?

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In Japan, the paper cups which are specially made for urine tests are used.

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I managed to squeezed out enough sample till the minimum line >_< There’s a cabinet in the clinic’s toilet, so you’d just put the cup inside the cabinet. Kinda gross for me because the cup is open and there were other people’s sample inside. Also, I was wondering what if somebody adds something into your sample? @_@

Anyway, the blood test, X-Ray and ECG was as usual, except that for the ECG they didn’t get me to change but just pull up whatever is on the chest. And throughout all these processes, I tried to understand but they really talked too fast! I guess the auntie must be like this gaijin damn annoying cannot understand instructions. T_T

Damn paiseh, but she asked me to pulled up my pants until 足首(ashi kubi) and I asked her do I take off my socks. T_T Ashi is leg and Kubi is neck, so together they make…? Ankle!

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And there’s the hearing test and eye test, hearing test was still okay, basically I was asked to put on a headphone and to press the button whenever I hear a sound. I can’t even remember when was the last time I did a hearing test, probably primary school? As for the eye test, I’m stunned when I see the board because I don’t know how to answer (the nurse thought I cannot see). Again, in Singapore, this is commonly what we encounter…

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In Japan, they use this:

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I guessed it but just in case I asked. You’re supposed to answer what direction the “C” is facing; up, down, left or right. The nurse immediately told me the result, although I don’t really know what it means. I got 1.5 for right eye and 2.0 for left eye. I’m surprised because 2.0 is the smallest row below which it basically looked like dots to me, but it seems that I got it right. Google told me that perfect eyesight is usually 1.0 so I guess the lasik effect is still there even after 5 years! 😀

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And so, the health screening ended with me paying for it first and the nurse kindly asked if I need a handwritten receipt which is addressed to the company. Apparently, the results will be out in 2-3 days which the doctor will need to talk to me as their guideline (because I didn’t talk to the doctor during the health screening and I asked if it will affect the result so they explained this lol). I probably will go through another round of paiseh-har-I-don’t-understand when I collect the results.

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