When you wish to be examined by a doctor or to undergo medical treatment, you will need to go to a hospital which treats the symptoms of your illness. The medical departments, hours and holidays differ for each hospital so it is best to check details by telephone before you go. If you do not speak much Japanese, it would be best to go with a Japanese speaking friend for your first visit.

At most hospitals, you will be issued with a medical examination card specific for that hospital which is made at reception. After your name is called, proceed to the medical department appropriate for your illness. After your examination, you need to pay a bill and go to a pharmacy to receive the prescribed medicine. A prescription is valid for four days including the issued date. However, some hospitals have a dispensary, so the prescribed medicine is given out following your examination. If you have a health insurance card, you should present it at reception on your first visit. If you are planning to use the same hospital again, be sure to have your medical examination card with you on all subsequent visits.