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More foreign doctors


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
I wonder if the policy of "decontrolling" will be extended to other professions.

Decontrols to bring in more foreign doctors

Life in Japan as a foreigner is not always easy, especially if you become sick and don't speak the same language as your doctor. A doctor examines a Peruvian woman with the help of a Spanish-speaking Japanese volunteer at a public hall in Isezaki, Gunma Prefecture. There is a handful of foreign doctors, mainly practicing in the Tokyo metropolitan area, and a limited number of Japanese doctors who speak English. But for a foreigner living in a rural area who can't speak either English or Japanese, finding the necessary help can be a daunting proposition. Currently, medical services for foreigners are tightly limited under a reciprocal government arrangement -- only five doctors from Britain, one from the United States, one from France and seven from Singapore are allowed to practice in Japan in exchange for the same number of Japanese doctors who can practice in those countries. In a surprisingly bold step, however, the government recently decided to allow doctors from any country to practice in Japan, as long as they see patients of their own nationality. The details will be worked out by the end of fiscal 2003, but the basic idea is to have municipalities or private entities ask the national government to call in doctors from specific countries. They will be allowed to practice in Japan after going through a simplified medical exam in English. [...]

=> http://www.japantimes.co.jp/cgi-bin/getarticle.pl5?nn20030315b6.htm
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