Types of medical facilities, and where to go


ページ番号1007035  更新日 平成29年4月13日


In Iwate, there are three types of medical facilities you can visit for treatment.

1. Clinics (医院, iin, or クリニック, kurinikku, or 診療所, shinryoujo)

Clinics are small offices that treat a specialized area, such as eyes or internal medicine. These are usually individually-owned and operated, and suitable for non-emergencies. Strictly speaking, clinics are any medical facility that has less than 20 beds for patients (or no beds at all).

To find a clinic near you, please use the Iwate Medical Net’s Find a Doctor service.

2. Hospitals (病院, byouin)

Hospitals are larger facilities with many doctors and departments and have more than 20 beds for patients. You should visit hospitals for serious sicknesses and situations. However, there may be extra costs associated with visiting a hospital, especially if you visit without first getting a referral from a clinic.

To find a hospital near you, please view the listing on under the page.

3. Public health center (保健所, hokenjo)

These offices do not give medical treatment, but are a place that gives out medical advice and free medical tests (for HIV and the like).

To find public health centers in Iwate, please view the listing on under the page.

To see a map, please click under the link.

Figuring out where to go

In an emergency, call 119 for an ambulance to take you to an emergency room at a hospital.

In Japan, you will not find many “family doctors” or generalized physicians. Doctors specialize in a certain area, so you must visit the clinic or hospital department that deals with the area in which you need treatment. If your stomach hurts, visit an internal medicine clinic. If you twisted your ankle, go to an orthopedics/external medicine clinic. If you have bad allergies, try visiting an ear, nose, and throat doctor, or an allergy department.

When seeking medical care you may choose a big, well-equipped hospital, but they may be crowded with limited hours for receiving new patients. On the other hand you may decide to go to a clinic, where the doctor is available all day. In general, these are doctors who have spent time working in one of the big hospitals.

In the event of a cold or a minor injury it's better to go to a clinic. Ask around to get recommendations.


Office of International Affairs, Department of Homeland Promotion
(020-8570) 10-1 Uchimaru, Morioka City, Iwate Prefecture, JAPAN
Phone number:019-629-5765 Facsimile:019-629-5254
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