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Healthcare in Japan is mostly considered to be a universal type of healthcare. Universal healthcare means that medical treatment for Japanese citizens is provided and paid for. This system is accessible to all citizens, as well as non-Japanese citizens staying in Japan for more than a year. This is quite different from healthcare in the United States, however, there are a few similarities.

The biggest difference between and Japan’s healthcare and the United States is that America has healthcare is based on a for-profit insurance system, while Japan’s has a fixed fee scheduled system. This means that in Japan, procedures and drug costs are the same throughout the country, whereas our prices differ vastly per state.

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Even though healthcare in Japan is considered universal, it is not completely free. Some fees will be required to be paid out of pocket by the citizen. Currently, there are two types of public health insurance in Japan. These public health insurances are as follows: Social Health Insurance or Employees’ Health Insurance (SHI) and National Health Insurance (NHI). SHI is for individuals with a full-time job and all healthcare is paid for through your salary check. NHI is for everyone else, such as students, freelancers, and people with jobs that do not use SHI. In addition to having to pay monthly premiums into the public health insurance system, Japanese citizens pay 30% of their medical bills themselves. These bills are tightly regulated by the state so that they never become unaffordable for citizens (Wise, 2015). Visitors in Japan also have the same healthcare options as citizens, depending on their employment and marital status.

Japan uses both traditional medicine and holistic medicine. It is not uncommon for households to use both for alternative ways of healing. For instance, Kampo medicine is a herbal medical system that has been around for thousands of years. This method of healing has been meticulously arranged based on the reactions that the human body gives to therapeutic interventions. Kampo stems from the roots of ancient Chinese herbal medicine and is commonly prescribed by doctors all over Asia. Additionally, acupuncture has been an important part of Japan’s medical practice and system for thousands of years. This is another form of holistic healthcare that is still widely used in Asian cultures today.

Culture can play a large role in medical interactions and outcomes. Culture influences how an individual might view an illness or treatment. Some cultures believe illness will be cured by a higher power and refuse medical treatment because of such beliefs. This is also another reason why herbal medicine and therapeutic medicines are still very common in Japanese healthcare regimes. Culture also heavily influences a person’s diet and exercise, which in turn, influences a population’s health overall. For instance, diet and exercise are viewed differently in Japan than it is in America. Overall, Japan is a very thin society. Only 3.7% of Japanese are individuals obese, (compared to 38.0% of Americans) the need for healthcare in Japan is much lower (Townsend, 2018). This is partially due to their different view on diet and exercise.

For example, traditional Japanese dishes tend to be eaten slowly and in small bites with chopsticks. Traditional main dishes usually include some form of seafood or tofu, and sometimes natto with optional small amounts of red meat or eggs. Side dishes are typically seaweed or vegetables, and raw or pickled fruit. Consuming snacks is also not as common as it is in Western societies.

Japanese individuals also walk more daily than more Americans. For instance, they walk an average of 3.5 miles to our 1 mile daily (Townsend,2018). As Japan has a large population, their means of travel are also very different. Japanese people also tend to walk more because of the higher costs of driving in Japan. It is uncommon for a traditional Japanese family to own a vehicle due to this.

Japan’s healthcare system also includes yearly body max index testing and expects most people to stay in their range. In 2008, the Japanese Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare introduced the Metabo Law, which requires men and women between the ages of 40 and 74 to have their waist circumference measured annually. The waistline circumference limits are 33.5 inches for men and 35.4 inches for women (Stephen, 2018). Within this law, citizens are required to stay within range and will be given notice if they are not. Your doctor will then suggest a specialist, which will provide you with a diet and exercise plan to assist you.

On average, Japanese people also have one of the lowest mortality rates in the world. The average life expectancy of a Japanese male is 81 and for females, it is 87. Their dietary patterns are characterized by low intake of red meat, high intakes of fish, plant foods, and no sugar-sweetened beverages, which are thought to be linked to relatively low mortality from cancer and ischemic heart disease and low prevalence of obesity (Tsugane, 2020).

In conclusion, the country of Japan has a vastly different vision for the healthcare of its people. The main reason for that is based on their deeply ingrained culture. Furthermore, Japanese citizens have low obesity rates because of diet and management and exercising more on average than most Westernized countries. Japan has obtained an inclusive form of universal healthcare because they are much healthier as a society. The United States should strive to reform a system that will also aim to improve the health of its citizens. This will not only grow our healthcare system but the overall health and well-being of our country.

#heathcare #medical #medicalcare #pharmaceuticals #healthcareprofessional #nurses #healthprofessionals

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