Receiving medical care at a clinic/hospital

  1. Present your health insurance card at the reception desk and wait until your name is called. Waiting times may be long in crowded clinics/hospitals.
  2. After examination and treatment, pay your bill at the cashier and collect any prescription issued.
  3. Take the prescription to a pharmacy to buy the prescribed medication.

Finding a clinic/hospital

NEWSapporo Medical Communication Hotline  011-211-2121

 ・What services does it provide?

・A telephone operator helps you find hospitals. (Available 24 hours a day)

・A telephone operator makes a hospital appointment for you.
 *Appointments and inquiries to the hospital can be made during the hours the hospital is open.

・Phone interpretation can be offered when talking to doctors or other medical staff at a hospital. (17 languages)

・Volunteer interpreters (only for English and Chinese) can accompany you to the hospital.
 *You need to apply for this service several days before going to the hospital.
     *Japanese-English interpretation is provided by a volunteer from NPO SEMI Sapporo, and Japanese-Chinese interpretation by a volunteer from SCI (Sapporo Chinese Medical Interpretation Group).

・Free-of-charge services. 
 * Telephone charges will be at your own expense.

  Click here to check the details → English Japanese Chinese Korean Vietnamese


・ Inquiries to a hospital/phone interpretation

17 languages
(English, Chinese, Cantonese, Korean, Vietnamese, Nepali, Portuguese, Spanish, Burmese, French, Russian, Thai, Hindi, Mongolian, Tagalog, Indonesian, and Farsi.)
 ※Interpretation in other languages may be available. Please contact the operator in advance.

・Volunteer interpreters:  only for English and Chinese
     *Japanese-English interpretation is provided by a volunteer from NPO SEMI Sapporo, and Japanese-Chinese interpretation by a volunteer from SCI (Sapporo Chinese Medical Interpretation Group).

 When is it available?

    Until March 31, 2023

Sapporo Medical Communication Hotline (City of Sapporo)

Emergency Medical Consultation Center Sapporo TEL:#7119 or 011-272-7119

You can call this number in the event of sudden illness or injury to determine whether it is best to visit a clinic/hospital or call an ambulance.

Hokkaido Emergency Medical Treatment Information Center

This website provides information regarding clinics and hospitals (accessible via computer and mobile phone).

Medical Institution Information Map (Sapporo Medical Association)

This website provides information regarding open clinics and hospitals.

Medical Institution Information Map (Sapporo Medical Association),Japanese

Japan National Tourism Organization (JNTO)

JNTO provides a website that allows users to search for clinics and hospitals providing foreign language support.

Search for medical institutions(National Tourism Organization, JNTO)

Information on COVID-19

Finding a medical interpreter

Subsidies for medical expenses

Long-term care insurance system

Under the long-term care insurance system, people aged 40 or older are obligated to enroll and pay insurance premiums. Should they need it, they are eligible to use services such as at-home or institutional care, rent assistive devices, and receive placement in welfare facilities for the elderly needing care, by paying part of the costs charged for such services.

There are two application methods and different conditions for the use of long-term care services depending on the age of each person: those aged 65 and over are categorized as primary insured persons, and those aged between 40 and 64 who are insured by the National Health Insurance or health insurance programs of their workplace are categorized as secondary insured persons.

The care services covered by the insurance vary by age and health condition. The use of these services requires application at the Health & Welfare Section of the ward office and certification as being in need of such care.

The brochure entitled “Long-Term Care Insurance (Kaigo Hoken)” is an introduction to the City of Sapporo’s long-term care insurance system. It provides information including that on its overview, procedures necessary to use care services, types and rough costs of care services, and insurance premiums.

Long-Term Care Insurance (Kaigo Hoken)

Welfare services for citizens with disabilities

The City of Sapporo provides various services for citizens with disabilities. Available services vary by disability level and circumstances; for more information, contact the Health & Welfare Section of the ward office of the district of your residence.

Welfare Guide for Persons with Disabilities 2020


Consultation services

If you need interpretation services for consultations at municipal offices, use Sapporo Community Interpreters.

Emergency Support Benefits

Emergency Support Benefits for Price Soaring in Electricity, Gas, Food etc. ※Ended on Jan. 31, 2023

In response to rapidly rising electric, gas, food and other prices, the Japanese government is providing emergency monetary relief to financially struggling households such as residence tax exempt household.

Sapporo City will provide 60,000yen per household (the amount determined by Japanese government 50, 000 yen + Sapporo City adds 10,000yen) .

If you fall under [Eligible Households] below and have resident registration in Japan, foreign nationals can receive the benefits as well.

Please see Sapporo City HP (Auto-translation) for more details.

For those under financial strain

 Social Welfare Council loans

Livelihood welfare fund loan system

The Social Welfare Council screens and lends necessary funds to low-income households, households with persons with disabilities, and elderly households to promote their financial independence and enjoyment of life.

Emergency protection fund loan system

The Social Welfare Council screens and lends funds to low-income households and households receiving welfare assistance when they are having financial difficulties due to temporary and incidental expenses and unable to receive any other assistance.

Support program for the financial independence of people in need

Housing Security Benefit

The City of Sapporo pays an amount equivalent to monthly rent for a certain period of time to people seeking employment to make ends meet. Further, support staff of the Sapporo Livelihood and Employment Support Center help them find work.

Welfare assistance

While foreign nationals are not eligible to receive welfare assistance, in cases where permanent residents, the spouses of Japanese citizens/permanent residents or long-term residents are struggling with their livelihood and are unable to receive the necessary support from their country’s consulate and the like, it is possible to receive assurance of livelihood based on standards and conditions outlined within the welfare assistance program. For those in need, contact the Social Aid Section of the ward office that has jurisdiction over the address found on your Residence Card or Special Permanent Resident Certificate.