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

Sapporo Medical Communication Hotline  011-211-2121 

  What services does it provide?

  • A telephone operator helps you find hospitals in Sapporo. (Available 24 hours a day)
  • A telephone operator makes an appointment at a hospital in Sapporo 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. (21 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.

       *English interpreters: NPO SEMI Sapporo

         Chinese interpreters: Sapporo Chinese Medical Interpreters Group

  • Free-of-charge services. 

      * Telephone charges will be at your own expense.

     * There is a fee for those who live outside of Hokkaido to request a volunteer interpreter.

     Click here to check the details.


  • Inquiries to a hospital/phone interpretation

       21 languages

(English, Chinese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malay, Tagalog, Nepali, Portuguese, Spanish, French,  Russian, German, Italian, Myanmar, Khmer, Mongolian, Sinhalese, Hindi, and Bengali)

  • Volunteer interpreters:  only for English and Chinese

   English interpreters: NPO SEMI Sapporo

   Chinese interpreters: Sapporo Chinese Medical Interpreters Group

      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)

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.

Support Benefit for Households Exempt from Resident Tax

 NEW  Fiscal 2023 Sapporo City Support Benefit for Households Exempt from Resident Tax (7/7/2023up)

Households that are registered as residents in the City of Sapporo as of June 1, 2023, whose household members are all exempt from resident tax for the fiscal year 2023 (excluding households consisting only of dependents of not-tax-exempt persons).

[Benefit amount]
30,000 yen per household

[How to apply]
A check sheet will be sent to the eligible households after July 13, 2023 (the envelope: picture).


Referring below, please check the sheet and fill out the necessary items.


Put it into the return envelope (no need to put a stamp) and drop in the post.

[Application deadline]
October 31, 2023 (postmarked by that date)

If do not receive the check sheet because you have divorced, evacuated due to domestic violence etc., or now living in a facility and so on, please see the webpage for Those Who are in Need of Special Consideration (Auto-translation).

If you are eligible for the benefit but do not receive a check sheet or have questions regarding this benefit, please inquire via the Call Center below.

If you need support with the application, please contact SAPPORO HELP DESK for Foreign Residents.

Fiscal 2023 Sapporo City Resident Tax Exempt Household Support Benefit Consultation Call Center
Hours: weekdays 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (also open weekends and holidays from July 1 to August 31)
Languages available: Japanese, English, Chinese, Korean, Russian, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Thai, Filipino, Nepali, Hindi, Vietnamese, Indonesian, and Burmese

The Sapporo City's Website (Auto-translation) 

※Be aware of scams and identity theft
・The government and the Sapporo City will NEVER ask you to operate an ATM, transfer fees for payment, or send an email asking you to use an URL for this benefit. If you have got a suspicious phone call, letter or email, please contact the Consumer Center, a police station or a police headquarter (#9110).
・Be aware of fake websites that look like the government or the Sapporo City.  If you see anything suspicious, like unfamiliar characters at the end of the URL, do not open the URL. Do your own search and check the real website.

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.