Annual Medical Exam in Japan

A few days ago, I had my Teiki Kenko Shindan or annual medical checkup. In Japan, employees who are regularly employed by a company are required to undergo annual medical tests, of which the expenses are to be shouldered by the employer.

Last year, my company did all the work of finding and scheduling my checkup but this time I had to do it myself. I found a clinic that is a 2-minute walk from our apartment and I called them up to make an appointment. The clinic staff who answered my call spoke in polite Japanese language but didn't sound accommodating. In fact, when I finished calling her, I realized that I wasn't able to give my name and that she didn't even ask for it. I wondered what she wrote in the appointment book! I called the clinic again just to make sure I was scheduled properly. Anyway, I was able to make an appointment for 9:30 AM the following Saturday.

On the appointed day, I arrived at the clinic at around 9:30 AM. I brought my National Health Card and the instructions paper from my company. When I entered the clinic, I went straight to the reception without noticing that patients and visitors are required to change into slippers. The receptionist called my attention so I changed into slippers. I handed my National Health card to the clinic staff and was told to wait to be called. There were already about five people waiting to be called.

I was called about five minutes later and was given a paper cup for the urine check. My medical test consisted of a urine check, weight and height check, hearing test, chest X-ray, eye exam, blood pressure check, and health and lifestyle consultation. Since I am under 35, I didn't have to undergo the other tests such as blood test, stool test, etc. (I remember last year, my medical test included blood testing.)

The series of tests lasted for about 45 minutes. I waited for a while as they write the test results. When the staff called me again, I was asked to pay 6,000 yen. (Last year, I remember paying about 12,000 yen -- a bigger amount due to the additional tests). I asked for the receipt because I'll need it when I ask my company for a reimbursement of the expenses. After paying, I left the clinic taking with me my health card and the test result certificate.

So what was the result? Although I gained a little weight, thank God, everything was normal.



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