Healthcare in Japan


how does the healthcare system work in Japan ? Is it efficient ?

What are the main differences between public and private sectors?

Is it recommended to purchase private health insurance in Japan?

Thanks in advance for sharing your experience !


Miwa and I have been on the system for almost two years.  We elected to join the National System and then purchased private hospital gap insurance to handle any large problems.
We are using Bluff Clinic in Yamate.  The doctors and staff can speak English, so it was easy for me during  my first visit.  The monthly cost for the two of us in about 20% of the cost in the states.   I do not see any difference in the quality of care.  The major area I see between the U.S. and Japan is that the offices are not glitzy with over priced furniture and decorations, which is fine by me.  I saw the same thing at the dentist office.   Another big difference is my doctor was not in a hurry and took time with me to explain everything about the physical.  By the way Miwa and I both received excellent reports on our health.
I am one very satisfied patient of the system.  The cost after insurance for our physicals was about $30 total.