English-Speaking Clinics and Hospitals
Here are a few resources if you are in need of English-speaking clinics and hospitals while in Yamagata Prefecture. If you would like assistance in confirming English-speaking hospitals/clinics, phone interpretation, or any other daily life issues, we at AIRY do provide the services free-of-charge so please feel free to contact us!
1. Any Large Hospitals
In the case of emergencies or if immediate assistance is required, most large hospitals will have English-speaking doctors. However, if you are a first-time visitor and/or you don’t have a referall, the wait time can be long and the upfront fees will be quite costly (estimated 5,000 yen fee on top of medical expenses).
2. Medical Interpretation through IVY
As there are limited specialized doctors who speak foreign languages in Yamagata, you can hire a medical interpreter to come with you on your visit through IVY, an NGO that supports various projects overseas as well as assist foreign residents living in the prefecture. You will need to reserve an interpreter a couple days in advance and there are some fees attached, so it can also be a pretty expensive option. Phone interpretation is also an option, but will also cost some money.
Basic Dispatch Fees: The first hour will cost 1,000 yen with an additional 500 yen/30 minutes.
*There will be extra fees for long-distance and/or late-night interpretation needs.
Any wait times will also be included in the cost. I.E. if the doctor’s visit only lasts 15 minutes, but waiting lasts 1.75 hours, you will need to pay for 2 hours’ worth.
Transportation Fees: You will pay for the transportation fees from the interpreter’s home to the dispatch location.
If the distance is within the city/town = 1,000 yen
If it is to a neighboring city/town = 1,500 yen
All other cases = 2,000 yen
3. Yamagata Prefecture Medical Institutions Information Network
(山形県異様機関情報ネットワーク やまがたけん いりょうきかん じょうほう ネットワーク）
This network is an online database of medical institutions within the prefecture.
There is a purple button “English Search Hospital & Clinic” which is useful for looking up information in English for specialized doctors by location. However, it does not give you any information on English abilities for the doctor, and in most cases, the doctors listed can speak little to no English.
If you have some Japanese ability, the top blue button 「医療機関を絵検索（病院・診療所・助産所」 will allow you to filter the database through multiple factors, including foreign language levels. For example, you can filter doctors based on how comfortable the doctor is with English by clicking the button labeled 「外国語対応 女性医師診察」and selecting the appropriate English level: fluent, conversational, very little. After that, you can add differrent filters to narrow down the location and specialized medical fields.
However, although this list will narrow down the list of available doctors, it unfortunately does not always reflect the doctor’s actual English abilities. It will be best to call up the doctor’s beforehand and ask about their foreign language abilities.
4. Japan National Tourism Organization Medical Institutions Search
This is a national database of medical institutions that can support foreign languages. However, you can only narrow down the list by prefecture and not down to towns/cities. Also, it is a smaller list than the above Prefectural Medical Institutions Information Network and most of the entries are for large hospitals. On the other hand, in terms of english abilities, this list is probably more reliable and accurate for finding english-speaking hospitals and clinics.
5. Other Information Provided by the Prefecture
The prefectural government website has compiled a short list of useful resources regarding medical institutions for foreign residents and visitors. It includes a link to the Japan National Tourism Organization medical institutions search above, as well as guidance sheets to assist you on doctor’s visits.
6. The Association for International Relations in Yamagata (Us!)
As stated in the first paragraph, we are also available to help or refer you to the appropriate people. Please feel free to contact us below!
Phone Number: 023-646-8861
English Support: Tuesdays to Saturdays, 10:00 ~ 17:00