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Child Health Check - ups

Japan With Kids - Forums: Health Topics: Pregnancy/Birth/Childrearing: Child Health Check - ups
By Catherine Wan on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 3:53 pm:

Does anyone know the situation with baby check - ups in Minato - ku? My Japanese friends told me that they should be free, but when I took my daughter for her one month old check - up (along with her Japanese National Health Insurance, her Minato ku Child Health Certificate and the 'boshi techo'), I was told that the check - ups are not covered and I ended up paying 10, 250 for it.
Any information much appreciated!

By Kit on Tuesday, January 31, 2006 - 8:35 pm:

Hi there Catherine!

I seem to recall a similar "sticker shock"
when I took my baby son to Aiiku Hospital
for a check-up. Apparently there are
designated places where the check-ups
are free of charge, and others--
particularly ones where doctors speak
English or cater to the foreign
community--that require payment. My
experience is dated by many years, but I
recall that the designated places tended to
be fairly crowded, and if time is money,
that might not be worth the hassle.

Here is what I copied off the Minato Ward
information site, which I hope is helpful:

Newborn Baby's Health
Health Checkups
Minato City Hall provides free health
checkups for newborn babies living in the

Public Health Care Subsection of Minato
Public Health Center (Public Health
Services Center) (Tel: 3455-4772).

3 and 4 months old/Health checkups/
Public Health Services Center
6 months old /Health checkups/
Commissioned medical institutions
9 months old/Health checkups/
Commissioned medical institutions
18 months old/Health checkups/
Commissioned medical institutions
/Dental hygiene checkups/Life & Hygiene
Center, Public Health Services Center and
Health Examinations Center
3 years old /Health checkups•Dental
hygiene checkups/Life & Hygiene Center,
Public Health Services Center and Health
Examinations Center

By Catherine Wan on Saturday, April 15, 2006 - 4:11 pm:

Thank you Kit for the information. I decided to check out the free check ups and this is how it seems to work:
If you have Japanese Insurance and have applied for a free child health care certificate from the ward office, you automatiacally receive notice of the free check ups a few weeks before they are due. You receive a 'voucher' - part of which you fill in, part of which the doctor fills in on the visit. YOu also receive a list of clinics/ hospitals where the checks take place. The catch is that some will charge and just tell you that health check ups aren't covered on the health insurance, whilst others will do it for free as long as you take your boushi kenko techo, your child healthcare certificate and your voucher and you do it on certain designated days. You have to ask when you call to make the appointment whether they charge or not, or you may get a nasty surprise on the day. (Aiiku was quite happy to book me in without telling me that they charge 8000 yen - they only told me when I specifically asked.)
All the information is in Japanese, so if you don't read it well, it's a good idea to get someone to help you out with it. ( I spent a Japanese lesson going through the relevant kanji/ vocab and found it very useful).
I went to Yutou's Clinic in Minami Azabu and was pleasantly surprised. It wasn't crowded and I just had to wait just 30 minutes before I was seen. (According to some Japanese mums I know, if you go to the public health centre, it can be very crowded.)If you do speak Japanese (or want to practice), they also seem to have free 'discussion/ lectures'about child development/ raising on designated days. You can take your baby along to weigh and measure on these occasions and can fill in a questionnaire stating which areas you would like them to discuss.

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