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Thursday, June 6, 2002


Communication need not be a medical emergency

In response to the newly arrived businesswoman seeking native English-speaking general practitioners/family doctors in Kansai and Kyoto, here is a quick round-up.

British-born Dr Geoffrey Barraclough has been practising in Kobe for 37 years, and still makes house calls when necessary. Contact him at the Kobe International Hospital & Medical Services Association, 4-23-11 NinomiEya-cho, Chuo-ku, Kobe (078-241 2896 in English, Japanese, French and German).

The basic consultation charge is 6-7,000 yen; house calls start from 15,000 yen.

Dr Gabriel Symmonds works out of the Tokyo British Clinic, established in 1992. A general practitioner, he has a special interest in orthopaedic medicine: back pain, aching shoulders, problems with joints, etc.

On call 24 hours a day, he also makes house calls. You can find him at Daikanyama Y Building, 2F, 2-13-7 Nishi-Ebisu, Shibuya-ku. (The police box beside the Hibiya subway exit at Ebisu JR station has maps.) You can call on 03-5458 6099.

Dr Fred McShane, who arrived in Japan in 1951 to found the American Clinic in HigaEshi-Azabu, Tokyo, remains as active as ever. Although, like the two previous private doctors, he does not accept Japanese health insurance (hoEken). Phone 03-5549 9983. Basic consultation from 6-10,000 yen.

Dr Theodore King at The King Clinic does accept hoken, however. He speaks Greek, Chinese and Russian as well as English, and has a Web site: www.member.nifty.nre.jp/the-king-clinic. Olympia Annexe 4F, 6-31-21 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku (03-3409 0764).

There are also several private clinics in Tokyo with foreign doctors: The International Clinic has just one doctor right now; Russian-German Dr Eugene Aksenoff, who has been in Japan since World War II. He speaks English and Russian. No Japanese insurance accepted.

Ditto the Tokyo Medical and Surgical Clinic (since 1952), with male doctors from Britain, New Zealand and Germany, plus two Japanese colleagues.

There's also a French female gynaecologist who works on a part time consultancy basis. You can find them at 32 Mori Building 2F, 3-4-30 Shiba-koen, Minato-ku (03-3436 3028). The same French practitioner, who also describes herself as a family doctor for adults, Dr Claudine Bliah, is at the Seino Clinic, in Minato-ku (03-3400 9942), two half days a week.

Her basic consultation is 6,000 yen; the clinic accepts hoken for prescriptions.

Finally, you might like to know that the walls of Kanda 2nd Clinic are pinned with photos of some of the thousands of Japanese and non-Japanese babies gynaecologist Dr Sayoko Makabe and her team of women doctors and staff have helped bring into the world.

Also available are medical checks, with pap smear tests, breast and HIV checks, etc. English is spoken. Japanese insurance is accepted. You can find it at 3 20-14 Nishi-Azabu, Minato-ku. Phone 03-3402 8062.

Let us know of other doctors you find helpful and comforting, so we can add them to the list.

"The Japan Health Handbook," by Meredith Enman Maruyama, Louise Picon Shimizu and Nancy Smith Tsurmaki is an excellent resource. So too is the woman's guide, "Being A Broad," by Caroline Pover.

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A World Cup visitor from England is asking about online information to make the most of his time between matches:

* www.soccerphile.com promises to make your trip a winner
* www.jnto.go.jp has resources for World Cup visitors courtesy of the Japan National Tourist Organisation
* www.admillion.com/j-guide/index has a section on all the prefectures with info on hotels, finding your way around and sightseeing
* www.japan-guide.com introduces Schauwecker's Guide to Japan, with travel, history and shopping guides
* www.linksnet/vita/trip/japan offers Justin's Tokyo Pages, with a personally recomEmended love hotel guide
* www.realtokyo.com is updated daily with the very latest on clubs,art, fashion
* www.outdoorjapan.com is for outdoor sports fiends
* www.bento.com/tokyofood will put you right if you hanker to eat, say, fish and chips.
* www.jhelp.com is Japan Helpline's World Cup Hotline, for anyone with problems or who gets into trouble (24 hour a day hotline: 0570-000-911)

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A reader, this time near Nagoya, is asking about compost.

She has heard of something called EM-bokashi, but wonders what it is and where she can buy it. Any ideas?

Also we have another query about computers, this time about clubs in Tokyo designed to educate and support users.

Report on the club you attend (or attended) and we will pass the information on.

E-mail: lifelines@japantimes.co.jp

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