Gov't to survey unpaid medical bills by foreign tourists
Japan Today -- Jul 17
The health ministry will launch a survey to look into medical expenses paid by foreign tourists to deal with an apparent increase in unpaid cases, a source close to the matter said recently.

The Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare will study the total amount of unpaid bills and number of cases at 7,000 hospitals nationwide and consider measures to address the issue after compiling a report based on the survey's results by March, the source said.

About 30 percent of hospitals in Osaka that provided medical care and treatment to foreign tourists said in a government survey last year that they had not received payments in some cases.

According to the tourism agency, roughly 30 percent of foreigners visit Japan without travel insurance covering medical costs.

The number of foreign visitors to Japan nearly tripled to a record 24.04 million in 2016 from 8.61 million in 2010 and is expected to continue to rise.

The government is aiming for 40 million tourists by 2020, when Tokyo will host the Olympics and Paralympics Games, and 60 million by 2030.

News source: Japan Today
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