Since arriving in Japan, I have been really fortunate in finding doctors and getting Theo's medical records translated. Through our neighbour, we were able to meet a pharmacist that would like to be an English/Japanese medical translator. She has been overwhelmingly helpful in getting the reference letters from Theo's Canadian doctors and a medical history translated into Japanese. She was also able to help us find a hospital in Fukuyama with a pediatric urologist and nephrologist and set up an appointment.
|Theo looking into the middle distance|
I have been to at least 20 appointments in Canada just like the one we had on Monday, and here are the major differences I observed:
1. It takes months before you can get an appointment in Canada. Unless it is an emergency, it is extremely common to get an appointment to see your doctor anywhere from 2 - 6 months in the future. You get very used to booking appointments months in advance. Here, I was given the option of seeing a doctor within a week of calling.
|For lack of a relevant picture, here is a cute one of William|
3. Health care is free in Canada, but prescriptions are not. For Theo's appointment on Monday, I paid 500 yen ($6.50 Canadian) because he is covered by National Health Insurance and Infant Medical Expense Assistance. Prescription medicine here is free though.
4. The doctor I saw on Monday was incredulous that the doctors in Canada had never done an MRI of his kidneys and that the only CT scan he has ever had was when he was 2 months old. It seems that doctors here are much more willing to preform every test available to better monitor your health.
All in all, I was very pleased with my first encounter with the medical system here. Even though Theo's doctors in Canada were very competent and caring, I think in the long run he will receive better care in Japan. Lets just hope that our experience in Okayama confirms this!