Emergency Medical Care in Sasebo
1. Three levels of facilities for emergency medicine
In Japan, emergency medical care is provided by three levels of medical facilities based on severity: primary, secondary and tertiary care facilities. Primary care facilities are the clinics without beds which provide care for low-acuity patients who can be safely discharged home. These are similar to family practice or urgent care facilities in the U.S. Secondary care facilities are the hospitals which provide care for moderate-acuity patients who require admission to a regular inpatient bed. These are similar to an emergency room in the U.S. Tertiary care facilities are the emergency medical service centers which are aimed to provide care for high-acuity patients who require admission to an intensive care unit or emergency surgery. Most patients needing care at a secondary or tertiary care facility would be transferred via ambulance.
Emergency Medical Care Facilities in Sasebo
Choice of medical facilities depends on its time and severity.
|Daytime on weekdays||Nighttime, Weekends and Holidays|
Admission is not required.
|Clinics and Hospitals||KYUBYO SHINRYOSHO
Admission is required.
|Hospitals designated to provide emergency medical care||“On-duty hospital”|
Those who cannot be treated at a secondary care facility are admitted.
|Sasebo City General Hospital||Sasebo City General Hospital|
Dial 0956-23-8199 to find out an appropriate medical facility
Information on medical facilities is provided by Sasebo Fire Bureau (Tel:0956-23-8199), 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Telephone service is available only in Japanese.
2. Information for patients
1.A patient with mild condition
1) Daytime on Weekdays⇒ Visit a clinic or a hospital while the symptom is mild.
It is recommended that a patient visit a primary care facility (a clinic or a hospital) during the daytime on weekdays, when it is fully capable of accepting a patient.
2) At night and on weekends and holidays⇒ Visit KYUBYO SHINRYOSHO (Municipal Clinic)
When a patient with mild symptom seeks medical help at night and on weekends and holidays, KYUBYO SHINRYOSHO (Municipal clinic) is the place to visit. It is a primary care facility open during certain hours at night on weekdays, and daytime on weekends and holidays.
A physician and a pediatrician are on duty from 8:00pm to 11:00pm on weekdays and Saturdays, and from 10:00am to 6:00pm on Sundays, national holidays and new year holidays (Dec.31-Jan.3). A surgeon is on duty from 10:00am to 6:00pm on Sundays, national holidays and new year holidays. Since KYUBYO SHIRYOSHO functions as an urgent care center, doctors at the clinic prescribe medicine for a day or two, expecting the patient to visit his/her primary care doctor, a clinic, or a hospital on the following day.
It is important to call the clinic (Tel:0956-25-3352) in advance to find out if it can receive a patient, because the clinic may not be able to receive a patient due to the limited number of staff and equipment. Reservation on the web (http://sasebo.mdja.jp) and by automated telephone system (Tel:050-5533-6509) are also available in Japanese. Registration is closed 15 minutes before closing time.
As for mild condition in regards to eyes, ears, nose, throat and teeth, a patient may visit a clinic on duty. It is important to call the clinic before visiting to ask if you can be treated. A Monthly table of the on-duty clinic is found on Sasebo City’s Website (http://www.city.sasebo.lg.jp/hokenhukusi/iryose/zaitakui.html), which is available only in Japanese.
Open hours of the on-duty clinic are as follows: Ophthalmology; 10:00am-12:00am on Sundays, Otorhinolaryngology; 10:00am-2:00pm on Sundays, national holidays and new year holidays: Dentistry; 10:00am-12:00am on Sundays, national holidays and new year holidays.
2.A patient with moderate or severe condition⇒ Call 119 for an ambulance (only available in Japanese)
When a patient’s condition is moderate or severe, call Sasebo Fire Bureau (Tel:119) for an ambulance in order to be treated at a secondary care or tertiary care facility. An operator who specializes emergency medical care will ask a number of questions to help determine the most appropriate response for the patient. When the condition requires time critical medical care, an ambulance will be sent immediately in order to transport the patient to a secondary care or tertiary care facility. If the patient is able to arrange their own transport and it is clinically safe to do so, visiting a designated hospital or a clinic on their own is encouraged to save ambulances for patients who really need them.
3.Information for health care professionals
Call the hospital to provide detailed information and confirm availability for admission before transporting a patient
If a critical patient requires transportation to a secondary or tertiary care facility, making a telephone call to the hospital before transporting the patient is important because the triage process requires a range of clinical information. You must confirm that the hospital is able to receive the patient as the patient’s condition may exceed medical capabilities of the hospital.
A patient is transported to a designated hospital according to the following rules.
1) Transportation to a secondary care facility
A patient is transported to a nearby hospital which provides emergency medical care after making a telephone call to the hospital. If the hospital is not available, the patient is transported to the “On-duty hospital” which is based on the rotation system established by eleven hospitals in Sasebo (ten secondary care hospitals and one tertiary care hospital) in order to provide emergency medical care efficiently. Please make sure to call the “On-duty Hospital” before transporting the patient.
2) Transportation to a tertiary care facility
Anybody with life-threatening condition is transported to Sasebo City General Hospital, the only tertiary care facility for residents in Sasebo and northern Nagasaki. It is important to make a call to the hospital before transporting the patient.
3) Transportation to a specific hospital
A child without injuries is transported to Sasebo City General Hospital after making a call.
A patient with spinal injuries may be transported to Nagasaki Rosai Hospital after making a call.
4.Notes for non-Japanese patients
Patients need to be prepared to pay Japanese Yen in cash because neither a foreign currency such as US dollars nor a credit card is accepted at most hospitals/clinics.
It is strongly recommended that a patient be accompanied by someone who can speak Japanese because many of the hospital/clinic staff do not understand foreign languages.