Medical Checkup (2005-01-25)

I received an application for a free health examination in the mail last month.  It's one of the government's ways of taking care of the people who have reached a certain age (translation: old).  I thought it'd be a good idea to check my blood pressure, so I turned in the application.

I was provided with a choice of over 200 clinics in my surrounding suburbs to have my examination and I picked a nice big one near our apartment to get it done last Friday.  Once inside the clinic, two receptionists greeted me warmly and registered my name.  After that I was led by a nurse to see my doctor almost immediately.  My doctor tried to speak English with me to make sure I understood him.  It wasn't just vital signs I was getting done, they took blood from me, tested my urine and wanted stool samples which I had to submit at a later date, and gave me a chest x-ray and ECG.  A total of four nurses took care of me during the course of the checkup.    Everyone was so nice to me I felt guilty not having had to pay for the service.

It's a pretty generous thing the Japanese government is doing for its people, especially foreigners.  For someone who is not a permanent resident and doesn't have an income to pay income taxes, I scored a nice free ride at the clinic, hee hee.

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