The Gap Between Japanese Medical Professionals and Foreign Patients

  • Manami NozakiEmail author
  • Kazumi Watanabe
  • Miyoko Okamoto
  • Yui Matsuda
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 1205)


The purpose of this study is to clarify the situations in which foreign patients and Japanese medical professionals face difficulties in the Japanese medical system. The authors also aim to find out the causes of difficulties from the viewpoints of foreign patients and Japanese medical professionals. Through our literature review, four major situations were extracted, namely, at receptions, at examination rooms, during treatment decision-making, and at inpatient units. In these situations, a total of eight difficulties were found: among them, seven were caused by gaps in perceptions between foreign patients and Japanese medical professionals. Foreign patients perceive that Japanese medical professionals perceive them in a certain way. At the same time, Japanese medical professionals perceive that each foreign patient possesses a unique cultural background. These create gaps and confusion. It is necessary to find strategies to solve this issue.


Foreign patients Medical professionals Gap 



This work was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant JP19K10813.


  1. 1.
    Ministry of Justice, Japan. Accessed 14 Feb 2020
  2. 2.
    Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare, Japan. Accessed 14 Feb 2020
  3. 3.
    Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, Japan. The multicultural coexistence promotion plan. Accessed 10 Dec 2019
  4. 4.
    Noji, A.: Evaluation of cultural ability for hospital and nursing internationalization-interim report of domestic hospital survey. J. Jpn. Acad. Nurs. Eval. 5(2), 74–78 (2015)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Teraoka, M.: Aspects of cross-cultural experience perceived by foreigners living in Japan when using its healthcare services. J. Jpn. Acad. Nurs. Sci. 37, 35–44 (2017)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Kubo, Y.: Survey on the current state of nursing care for foreign patients in emergency outpatient departments in Japanese hospitals. J. Health Welf. Statics 16(1), 17–25 (2014)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Hokkaido Health and Welfare Department: Collection of cases (troubles) for foreign patients, pp. 1–6 (2017)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kitagawa, T.: Study on improvement of environment for accepting foreign patients, health labor administration promotion survey project cost subsidy (2019).
  9. 9.
    Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Japan. Accessed 14 Feb 2020
  10. 10.
    Hsieh, H.-F., Shannon, S.E.: Three approaches to qualitative content analysis. Qual. Health Res. 15(9), 1277–1288 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Manami Nozaki
    • 1
    Email author
  • Kazumi Watanabe
    • 2
  • Miyoko Okamoto
    • 1
  • Yui Matsuda
    • 3
  1. 1.Juntendo UniversityUrayasuJapan
  2. 2.Yamanashi Prefectural UniversityKofuJapan
  3. 3.University of MiamiCoral GablesUSA

Personalised recommendations