A Study on Preparations for Accepting Foreign Patients into Japanese Hospitals
Aim: According to Immigration Bureau of Japan, the number of 2011 foreign residents were more than 2.07 million persons, and foreign nationals entering Japan including reentering in 2012 was approximately 9.17 million persons. The chances a foreigner will visit a medical institution, regardless of the disease or the reason for the visit, is thought to be high.The purpose of this study is to identify the actual accepting of foreign patients in hospitals throughout Japan.
Methods: A structured questionnaire was distributed to the person in charge of the nursing department in 1000 hospitals with 20 beds or more between July and October 2011, randomly selected and grouped by hospital bed size in Japan, except Miyagi, Iwate, and Ibaraki Prefectures.
Results: Responses from 223 individuals were valid for analysis:96 from small hospitals; 84 midsize; and 43 large from all 44 prefectures which received letters. The ratios of experience of foreign outpatients and inpatients were respectively over 83.9 and 57.4%. Of the respondents, 75.8% experienced confusion; the biggest problem was language differences. 29.1% of the hospitals had made some special preparations for accepting foreign patients. The large hospitals accepted more foreign patients than did the others.
Conclusion: Since nurses might need to personally cope with foreign patients, and ability or comfort level in this regard may vary by nurses and patient, it is necessary to consider ways to improve
integrated cultural care systematically.