When Feeling Unwell
In case you feel unwell on the university campuses
If you feel unwell or have suffered a minor injury while on campus, you may go to the Student Health Care Center for a consultation. The Center has an office on each campus, open during the following hours. The Center’s doctor may or may not be in when you go.
If you wish to consult doctors in medical institutions outside the campuses
Some medical institutions provide consultations in English or other foreign languages. Call in advance to check availability before going. Make sure to take your National Health Insurance card and hand it to the reception staff when you arrive. With National Health Insurance, you need to pay only 30% of the medical costs. Be careful not to forget your card, for if you forget it you will have to pay 100%. On the Sendai International Relations Association (SIRA) website, you can find a list of medical institutions where you can find treatment in languages other than Japanese.
Almost all hospitals are closed at night and on Sundays / national holidays. If you need a doctor during any such period, you will have to go to an “After-Hours and Holiday Clinic”. Each clinic operates in rotation, through different facilities at different locations, depending on the date. You can look up which hospital or clinic is open on any specific Sunday or holiday at the following website.
- Clinics open on holidays | Sendai City (Only in Japanese)
Using Medical Facilities
You may feel a bit nervous about using Japanese medical facilities. However, there is a lot of information available on the Internet. Please refer to the below websites as needed.
This center provides information on how to take a medical treatment at a hospital in multiple languages, and offers telephone interpretation services.
The website provides various medical questionnaire forms in multiple languages to help non-Japanese speakers explain symptoms/injuries to a medical doctor.
The center provides telephone interpretation support and other various services for non-Japanese residents.
Student Health Care Center and Counseling Services
Student Health Care Center (SHCC)
The Student Health Care Center provides health consultation from Monday to Friday every week.
Open 9:00 to 11:30, 13:00 to 16:15
The Student Health Care Center provides annual checkups: in April for freshmen, and in May for other students. Students are advised to take advantage of the opportunity. In Japan, it is required by law to conduct medical checkups.
Issuance of Health Certificates
Health Certificates are issued at the Student Health Care Center, for students who require them in order to apply for scholarships or other purposes. Certificates are based on the results of the regular physical checkups mentioned above. Please note that they suspend the issuance of health certificates while they carry out medical checkups.
Applications are available at the Student Health Care Center on Kawauchi Kita Campus. (TEL: 022-795-7835 or 7836)
Center for Counseling and Disability Services (CCDS)
The Center for Counseling and Disability Services offers appropriate counseling for university students about problems in their everyday lives, including academic work, future plans, interpersonal relationships, personal traits and mental health. The details of student problems will be kept strictly confidential. Please do not hesitate to visit the Center.
To use our services, you can either come to the Center directly, or make an appointment by telephone or e-mail. Counseling sessions are offered free of charge.
Hours of Operation: Monday-Friday, 9:30 to 17:00 (Except National and New Year’s holidays)
Please put “tohoku.ac.jp” at the end of the e-mail address.
University-wide Harassment Counseling Center
What is harassment?
Tohoku University’s harassment prevention policy defines harassment as a violation of human rights that falls within the purview of “sexual harassment” or “academic harassment.”
If you are harassed:
- Talk to someone you trust, and contact the Counseling Center.
- A professional counselor will be provided.
- University-wide Harassment Counseling Center
(in University Counseling Center)
National Health Insurance
National Health Insurance, commonly known as “Kokuho（国保）” in Japan, is a medical insurance system that reduces the insured person’s medical expenses. Every international student who will live in Japan for more than three months is obliged to enroll in the National Health Insurance system.
Applications for entry into the National Health Insurance system are accepted at the local municipal, ward or other office where your place of residence is registered (* See list of public offices). When applying for insurance, the applicant’s passport and Residence Card are required. After completing the application, you will obtain a National Health Insurance Certificate on the same day.
2. Monthly Premium
On joining the National Health Insurance System, you must pay a monthly premium. There is a premium reduction program that may allow you to receive a discount. If you report that you have not had any income in Japan during the previous fiscal year, you can receive a 70% reduction from the normal monthly premium. For details, consult the National Health Insurance System representatives at your local ward office. Furthermore, you may apply for reimbursement when a single month’s treatment costs have exceeded the individual payment limit set by the Insurance system. Notification will be issued from your ward office roughly 3 months after the month in which these costs were incurred. You can take this notification, along with receipts regarding the treatment, to your ward office and apply for reimbursement. For this reason, it is advised that all medical receipts should be kept rather than thrown away.
When leaving Japan indefinitely, or getting employed in the country, you must visit your ward office to withdraw from the National Health Insurance System. If you don’t report your withdrawal, it is considered a default with regard to the payment of all future monthly payments.
National Health Insurance applications and withdrawals are processed at the Citizens’ Affairs Department of your ward office or its branch office.
Please be advised on receiving National Health Insurance System benefits in the following situations:
Maximum Payable Amount Certificate (限度額適用認定証)
If you are hospitalized or have to undergo an expensive medical procedure, you can present a Maximum Payable Amount Certificate (限度額適用認定証) at your medical institution to limit the amount you must pay in medical fees per month. If you think you will have high medical costs, take your health insurance certificate and Social Security and Tax Number nortification card to your ward office’s Health Insurance and Pension Division to apply for the Maximum Payable Amount Certificate.
Reference: Sendai City Website (Japanese)
Overseas Medical Expenses
When you receive medical treatment while staying in countries other than Japan on temporary leave, you can apply for reimbursement of medical expenses after returning to Japan by preparing the following documentation.
- Certificate of medical examination and treatment by a doctor
- Medical receipt (original)
- Japanese Translation of the above two documents (anyone may do the translation, but the translator’s signature or seal is required）
- National Health Insurance Certificate
Be advised that National Health Insurance covers only the portion of medical expenses to which the Japanese health insurance plan can be applied. The application for reimbursement will be examined and paid in accord with Japanese costs for the same medical treatment.
Childbirth Care Allowance
If you are a woman birthing a child in your own country or elsewhere while you are covered under Japan’s National Health Insurance System, you can receive Childbirth Care Allowance. In order to apply for this benefit, return within the period stated on your re-entry permit, with the following documentation.
- Child’s Birth Certificate
- Japanese translation of Child’s Birth Certificate
Human Rights Counseling
The Ministry of Justice provides human rights counseling services for non-Japanese residents. For more details, please see the Ministry’s website below.