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Travelers without insurance cause headaches for Japan's hospitals

May 14, 2019 / MIZUHO AOKI

As Japan sees a record-breaking number of foreign visitors, a major hospital near Narita airport is struggling to deal with an increasing number of uninsured patients who can’t pay for the medical treatment they’ve received. “Most of the foreign visitors we treat are emergency patients, coming directly from the airport. . . . In many cases, they are not covered with by insurance,” said Tomomi Asaka, a surgeon who is also chief of the International Medical Centre at Japanese Red Cross Narita Hospital.