All JET participants are covered with four types of insurance – including National Health Insurance and JET Program Accident Insurance. Here are some useful pointers we’ve collected about staying healthy here in Ehime.

Health Insurance

National Health Insurance / Seifu Kansho Kenko Hoken (政府管掌健康保険)

It is important to carry your National Health Insurance Card with you at all times.  70% of medical expenses are covered for illness and injuries. Medical care benefits include medical examination, provision of medicines or medical care supplies, emergency treatment, surgery and other medical treatment, in-home medical care, hospitalisation and nursing. Not covered – preventative medicine, cosmetic surgery, dental check ups, eye exams, eyewear, pregnancy exams.

JET Program Accident Insurance

In the case that a JET participant is injured or becomes ill during the period of coverage, the JET Accident Insurance Policy allows JET participants to claim back medical costs incurred (minus a ¥5,000 deductible and within the limits of the policy). The JET Accident Insurance also provides coverage for death caused by accident or illness, disability, and treatment for injuries and illnesses that occur during travel abroad or temporary visits to the JET participant’s home country.

Sick Leave

Byoki Kyuka (病気休暇) / Byokyu (病休)

  • Misunderstandings over sick leave are often a source of problem between JETs and COs.
  • All JETs are entitled to use byokyu, but read your contract for specific rules (good old ESID!)
  • Ask you supervisor what you need to do if you are sick and if you need to provide a medical certificate.
  • Call your supervisor and work place if you are sick!
  • If you have any questions or problems related to sick leave, contact a PA.


Who do you need to see?

  • 内科 (naika) – internal medicine (general practitioner)
  • 外科 (geka) – surgical (breaks/sprains, etc.)
  • 胃腸科 (ichouka) – stomach/intestinal medicine
  • 眼科 (ganka) – optometrist
  • 歯科 (shika) – dentist

Medical Facilities

Medical Centers in Ehime (Japanese)

HIV Testing

There is a HIV testing service available in Ehime. They are offered free of charge and privacy is assured. The test is simple, but you must return one week later to the health centre in person to ask for the result. They will not tell you over the phone. You can take the test three months after the time you think you might have been infected.

  • Matsuyama Central Public Health Office (Chuo Hokensho) Every Wednesday 1:00pm-2:00pm
  • Imabari Central Public Health Office (Chuo Hokensho) Every Monday 11:00am-12:00pm
  • Saijo Central Public Health Office (Chuo Hokensho) Every Monday 11:00-12:00pm
  • Yawatahama Central Public Health Office (Chuo Hokensho) Every Tuesday 11:00-12:00pm
  • Uwajima Central Publich Health Office (Chuo Hokensho) Every Tuesday 11:00am-12:00pm

Vocabulary and Phrases 

Chlamydia クラミジア kuramijia
Gonorrhea 淋病 rinbyou
Herpes ヘルペス herupesu
Syphilis 梅毒 baidoku
Insurance Card 保険証 hokenshou
Symptoms 症状 shoujou
City Health Center 保健所 hokenjo
Negative 陰性 insei
Positive 陽性 yousei
False Positive 偽陽性 giyousei

  • Can I have the HIV test?~ HIV kensa o uketai desu. (HIV検査を受けたいです。)
  • How much will the tests cost?~  kensa wa ikura desu ka. (検査はいくらですか。)
  •  Am I safe?~ watashi wa daijoubu deshou ka. (わたしは大丈夫でしょうか。)
  •  What should I do next?~ kore kara watashi wa nani o sureba ii desu ka.( これからわたしは何をすればいいですか。)
  •  What are your recommendations?~ sensei wa nani wo susumemasu ka. (先生は何をすすめますか。)

Reproductive Health

For infections or other immediate concerns, visit your local hospital or the women’s health center attached to the main hospital in Matsuyama. If you have a rural placement and privacy is essential, you may wish to visit another city for your examination.

  • Kenritsu Chuo Byoin (Prefectural Central Hospital) Has an independent clinic for women (josei shinryouka). All doctors are women.
  • NTT Hospital (Obstetrician and Gynaecologist)
  • Okujima Hospital (for abortions)
  • NTT Nishinihon Matsuyama Byoin 8:30am to 11:00am, and 1:00pm to 3:30pm, Monday to Friday.
  • Kiba Clinic Matsuyama-shi – Suga-machi
  • Okugima Byoin – Dogo-machi, Matsuyama-shi
  • Shiritsu Ozu Byoin – Ozu-shi
  • Yano Maternity Clinic

It’s important to note that hospital doctors – even gynecologists – in Japan do not generally handle basic contraceptive health. If you would like to talk to a doctor about contraceptive options or begin a prescription, you will need to go to a private women’s health clinic. Many Ehime JETs use the Mariko Ladies` Clinic in Matsuyama for regular check-ups and prescriptions, where there are English-speaking staff.

 Women’s Health 

Contraception and Pregnancy

The birth control pill is available in Japan, but it is likely a different brand and may have a lower hormone dosage. It won’t be covered by your National Health insurance and runs at around 3000 yen per month. It is usually more difficult to get hold of than back home, so it may be worth looking into having it mailed from home if you have a prescription and fill in the relevant forms or look at alternative methods of contraception.

The morning-after pill is available, but it’s a good idea to call the specific clinic to make sure they have it before you go. Some Japanese doctors perceive it to be dangerous, so will only give it out in emergencies. The morning-after pill must be taken within 72 hours of having intercourse. There are several different Japanese names for emergency contraception:

kinkyuu hinin piru 緊急否認ピル
ii-shii E.C.
mohningu afutah piru モーニングアフターピル

“Clear Blue” pregnancy tests are available in most pharmacies and drug stores, it usually costs around 500 yen. If you decide to have a baby in Japan, you need to register the pregnancy at your city/town/village office within the first month.

Abortion is available in Japan and is the most common way of dealing with an unwanted pregnancy. It is not covered by insurance and cannot be done after the second trimester.

Abortion is a big decision for a woman and her partner to make, but unfortunately in Japan there is often little support offered at clinics. There are many support resources online, via telephone or within your local JET community.

Other Health Issues

Cervical Cancer Screening- Pap smears (shikyuu saibou-shin) or (sumea testo) may be done as a part of municipal health checks, for women over thirty. Women over 20 can apply for a subsidized Pap smear once a year at a cancer clinic or designated hospital.

Breast Cancer Screening- Women over 30 can receive free breast examinations. It’s important to do a Breast Self Exam (BSE) at about the same time in your cycle each month. If you find a lump (shikori), see a doctor immediately.

How to do a BSE:

Menstrual Leave- Your contract entitles you to take menstrual leave. It is listed under “Special Leave”. This is unpaid. Ask your supervisor if you need to use it, however you will find it is rarely used by your co-workers.


Menstruation gekkei/seiri 月経、生理
Menstrual cramps seiri tsu 整理痛
Menstrual irregularity seiri fujun 整理不順
Inflammation of bladder bokoen 膀胱炎
Yeast infection iisutokin kansen byo イースト菌感染病
Candida kanjita カンジタ
Vaginal discharge orimono おりもの
STD seibyo 性病
Hemorrhage fusei shukketsu 不正出血
Breast lump chibusa no shikori 乳房のしこり
Breast cancer nyugan 乳癌
Morning sickness tsuwari つわり
Pregnancy ninshin 妊娠
Miscarriage ryuzan 流産
Abortion chuzetsu 中絶
Birth Control hinin 避妊

Otasukeman Services

MIC (Matsuyama International Centre) offers an otasukeman services for free, so if you have a health issue you would rather not speak to your supervisor or BOE about, they can accompany you to appointments and offer their translation services. This may be especially useful for any sexual health needs. The otasukeman service isn’t just limited to doctors’ visits. You can use it for bank visits, dentists and any occasion when you may need translation services and feel unable to ask anyone else. Contact details and further information can be found on the MIC website: Otasukeman Services Below is a testimony of these services by a fellow JET:

I needed to get my IUD birth control checked, but was scared to go to a Japanese doctor due to my lack of language skills. I also didn’t feel comfortable having my supervisor going with me and translating a very personal conversation. I found out about the Otasukeman service offered by MIC and thought it was worth a try. So I emailed them ( and expressed that I needed the service and  explained what was going on. They suggested the Mariko Ladies’ Clinic and matched me with a volunteer who was available on the day I needed who was fluent in English. We communicated through emails and phone calls  prior to her  meeting me at the clinic, she was a tremendous help. She was very friendly, understanding and I didn’t feel at all uncomfortable. It ended up that the doctor spoke quite a bit of English, but it was nice having her there for the first visit. She also gave the great advice of getting there early on a Saturday morning (at latest 8am, when they open at 9), because the wait gets very long (around 4 hours). Overall it was a great experience and I highly recommend it rather than waiting and having a major problem in a new country.

Counselling and Support Services

PAs and RAs are not trained to provide mental health counseling. However, PAs are able to assist you in finding help with the resources listed here. CLAIR rolled out a new mental health counseling system for JETs through an online counseling company in 2015. Through this service, you will be able to e-mail or Skype with licensed mental health professionals. Speak to the PAs or your superviser for more information. Note: This service is not meant to be a long-term solution, and the professionals you speak with might recommend therapy and other treatment. In most cases, mental health counseling is not covered by your national health insurance in Japan. However, if you are considering counseling, CLAIR offers a one-time subsidy for counseling of up to 10,000 yen that must be applied for through your Contracting Organization. However, if you need to see a psychiatrist, it is likely that insurance will cover your costs, and the JET Accident Insurance can be used as well. Make sure to check before you proceed with your treatment.

  • AJET Peer Support Group (PSG) is a confidential listening and referral service that operates from 8pm to 7am, 7 days a week. You can reach them at 050-5534-5566 or on Skype.
  • Tokyo English Life Line (TELL) is a free and confidential counseling available for to everyone (you don’t have to be a part of JET). They are available from 9am to 11pm every day. You can contact them at 03-5774-0992.

Useful phrases

  • I have a fever – netsu ga arimasu (熱があります)
  • I think I have a cold – kaze wo hiita you desu (かぜをひいたようです)
  • I have a headache – atama ga itai (あたまが痛い)
  • I feel like vomiting – haki sou desu (吐きそうです)
  • I don’t feel well – kibun ga warui desu (気分が悪いです)
  • I have a stomachache – onaka ga itai desu (おなかが痛いです)
  • I have a runny nose – hanamizu ga demasu (鼻水がでます)
  • I have a cough – seki ga demasu (せきがでます)
  • I have a pain here – koko ga itai desu (ここが痛いです)
  • I have diarrhea – geri wo shite imasu (下痢をしています)
  • I have my period – seiri desu (生理です)
  • I have hayfever – watashi wa kafun shou desu (私は花粉症です)
  • Please call a doctor – isha wo yonde kudasai (医者をよんで下さい)

For Fires

  • There is a fire! – Kaji desu (火事です!)
  • My address (the place) is~ – Basho wa~ desu (場所は~です)
  • My name is~ – Namae wa~ desu (名前は~です)
  • My telephone number is~ – Denwa bango wa~ desu (電話番号は~です)

For an Ambulance

  • An ambulance, please. – Kyukyusha onegaishimasu (救急車お願いします)
  • My address (the place) is~ – Basho wa~ desu (場所は~です)
  • My name is~ – Namae wa~ desu (名前は~です)
  • My telephone number is~ – Denwa bango wa~ desu (電話番号は~です)

For a Crime

  • There is an accident/crime. Please help me! Jiko/jiken desu. Tasukete kudasai! (事故/事件 です。 助けて下さい!)
    • Be sure to explain the condition and location slowly and clearly.
    • Traffic accidents …Date and Time, Name, Condition, Location, etc.
    • Crimes…kind of Crime, Date and Time, Name, Condition, Location, etc.
  • The address (the place) is~ – Basho wa~ desu (場所は~です)