Samantha E.*, Chiba Prefecture, Japan
When I lived in Columbus, Ohio, I was spoiled by the medical care I received at nearby Riverside Methodist Hospital. But now, after nearly 15 years of living in Japan, I have nothing but praise for Kameda Medical Center. It’s only 20 minutes from my home in Kamogawa City—but I would travel hours to be treated there. It’s one of the top-ranked hospitals in all of Japan, and it certainly lives up to its reputation.
My family and I have been through shoulder and hip replacements and cancer treatments in Columbus, and open-heart surgery and childbirth at Kameda. My children have been treated at KMC for colds, skin and eye allergies, pneumonia, and other common illnesses. We always make a reservation, rarely wait more than an hour for the doctor’s consultation, and then pick up our prescriptions in the same building. The facilities are ultramodern and Japanese-chic, with all floors, chairs, and surfaces shiny and clean. The hallways and waiting areas are uncluttered and beautifully decorated (with none of the odors usually associated with hospitals). As for communication or culture-clash problems, we’ve had none at all. There is always someone nearby who can provide information in English.
Most recently I was an obstetrics patient at Kameda, during my pregnancy with my fourth child. When I arranged a reservation for the birth in the newly opened K-Tower, I made a point of requesting total peace and privacy for my stay, and that’s exactly what I received. My labor was induced on the first day, and I gave birth to my son by early evening; then I recovered for five days in serene comfort. Whenever I needed to leave my room for a test or doctor’s visit, someone always led the way and gave me instructions—very professional, yet friendly.
I am not confident in my medical Japanese, but the medical team, especially the lead doctor, used English for any difficult terms during the consultations. I saw him again for my followup about a month later, and he was as kind and helpful as always. The staff even gave me a “celebration dinner” ticket for the restaurant on the top floor of K-Tower. (But with four children, I’ve been too busy to use it yet!)
The Kameda staff created a warm and peaceful experience for my son and me, even without my family there for support. The care we received there compared favorably to the best I’ve had in the US. I will go to KMC again, with confidence. I highly recommend it to international travelers and anyone else seeking top-notch medical treatment and facilities. I’ve had many hospital experiences in both Japan and America, and Kameda is one of the cleanest, most beautiful, most welcoming medical centers I’ve ever visited.
*patient name changed by request
Last updated on 26 June 2011
Before Leaving the Hospital: Get All the Paperwork
Impatient to be gone, and often suffering the woozy side effects of surgery and post-operative pharmaceuticals, patients too often find themselves back at home later, missing important documents that could have more easily been obtained on site. So before you hightail it out of your hospital or clinic, be sure that you have all of your important documents.
Generally, larger hospitals provide complete medical documentation as part of the standard exit procedure. However, some smaller clinics may rely more on verbal instructions, and they are less likely to build and maintain a dossier on your case.