If you are unfortunate enough to need hospital care in Japan, medical costs can be very high, and you are strongly advised to ensure that you have adequate medical insurance cover. Your travel insurance company should be able to settle all medical bills directly.
For British citizens who are hospitalised for longer periods, the consular service of the British Embassy offers this advice:
If illness or accident causes you to be hospitalised and you have no friends, colleagues or relatives available to help you, the Embassy will, if asked:
Contact the hospital within 24 hours of being notified;
Visit you within 2 days, if the hospital is in the Tokyo area. (If the hospital is further away, they will try to arrange for a member of the local British community to visit you).
However, if you have no travel insurance in place, (eg. you are a longer-term resident of Japan), the British Embassy can help you transfer funds if necessary. The Embassy cannot pay your hospital bills, but if the normal channels for transferring money are not available, money can be transferred through the Embassy. If a friend or relative deposits money with the Foreign & Commonwealth Office in London or a British Consulate elsewhere, the Embassy can pay over to you the equivalent sum in Yen, less a handling fee.
Unlike the UK, Japan does not have a system of local “General Practitioners”. Doctors work at hospitals or medical centres. A basic doctor’s consultation might cost in the region of Yen 1,500 (£10). Depending on the hospital, it should generally be possible for this to be paid directly by your travel insurance provider.
Get insured before you go with our partners BENGO
THE BRITISH EMBASSY IN TOKYO
has a list of medical practitioners in Tokyo who are willing to accept English-speaking patients.
The British Embassy, No.1, Ichiban-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 102-8381
Embassy Switchboard: +(81) 3 5211 1100