Example of Inquiry: “I want to see a doctor at a large hospital”

At the YOKOHAMA Foreign Residents Information Center, we respond to questions and inquiries from foreign residents. Let me introduce one of the frequent asked questions we receive.


I’m a Vietnamese national and have a 3 year old son. He often coughs during the day and once visited a nearby pediatrician, but he doesn’t get better. I want him to see a specialized doctor at a large hospital. I can’t speak much Japanese but I speak English.


Small children often have coughs, but if this goes on for too long, it is normal to feel concerned.

You will need a referral letter to see a doctor at a large hospital. There are hospitals where you can go without a letter, but this will cost you several thousand yen as a “selected medical treatment fee” and you likely will have to wait for a long time.

Do you have a primary doctor? If you don’t, we can look for English-speaking pediatricians nearby. Ask the doctor you see to write a letter of referral, and don’t forget to ask the doctor to introduce a large hospital where medical interpretation services are available.

XX General Hospital and XX Medical Center are hospitals close to where you live.

When you go see a doctor, be sure to take with you your child’s medical insurance card, medical subsidy certificate for children, Mother and Child Health Handbook, and your child’s “My Medication Record Book”.

DO NOT have your child take medicines prescribed by multiple medical institutions without consultation.

We at the YOKOHAMA Foreign Residents Information Center answer questions from foreign residents in 11 languages. Please feel free to contact us.

Tel: 045-222-1209