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Healthcare system for Japanese expatiates in Gurgaon: Are we ready?
The home to Maruti-Suzuki’s maiden car plant, millennium city of Gurgaon has grown as the host to Japanese investors in the country. With the collaboration between the two countries improving day by day, Japanese businessmen are now keenly considering Gurgaon as an investment destination when it comes to India. As per our latest survey, there are approximately some twenty plus companies of Japanese origin who have their offices in Gurgaon. Add to these the number of third party consulting based supporting companies who have posted their manpower in these offices, the number of Japanese nationals living in Gurgaon forms a significant community. Are we ready to treat them well?

Companies such as Canon India Pvt. Ltd, Honda, Amway, Hitachi, Sharp and many others have their offices in the city. These companies employ more than just a handful of Japanese expatiates but have a section of the Japanese top management either permanently residing or visiting the city often. If you have not already noticed them, look around in malls, shopping complexes and restaurants we would find quite a few Japanese people amongst us. It’s not just Sushi, you will find Japanese cuisine in a number of dedicated restaurants in the city and packaged foods in dedicated sections of super marts, however, is our healthcare system in the city ready for Japanese patients? Do we have doctors sensitized enough to the physiological and mental state of a Japanese expat? Do we have medical staff speaking the language to the community that still is not so fluently conversant in English? I tried doing a quick survey to find out the preparedness of the healthcare institutions in the city to handle this ever growing Japanese influx.

Columbia Asia, when being enquired about the treatment facility offered to Japanese patients showed me around and explained the infrastructural set up they have created to treat foreign nationals. They have a separate desk to cater to foreign nationals and also help them with documentation; they do not have Japanese speaking doctors, medical staff or a translator.

While a few Japanese in the city have confirmed that one of the oldest hospital in the city, Privat Hospital, have a separate desk dedicated to the Japanese patients, I couldn’t see any in the main reception hall. While I tried enquiring about the details of treatment offered to Japanese personnel, the public relation lady arrogantly turned down the request, saying “We are not interested. We have our own ways of getting Japanese patients coming to the hospital”. I was left wondering whether my enquiring about the hospital infrastructure qualifies for breach of some sort of security measures.

While newly constructed Fortis also do not have any sort of special arrangement to cater to a non-English speaking Japanese national, they seemed to have created positive impact due to their state of art infrastructural set up and prime location. Japanese national Yusuke Kambe who has been living in Gurgaon for few years now, in a candid chat said, Yusuke Kambe“I stay at Hamilton Court next to Galleria market. I guess the first hospital that comes to mind near my place would be Fortis because it is next to HUDA City Center”. But in case of a medical emergency will you walk into Fortis? Yusuke did not seem to be much sure. He says he does not have much trust on the system. “Fortis seems like a good hospital. I've heard mixed reviews though. If I were to go, I would choose a professional, hygienic place like Fortis. But I am concerned about the staff. I do have mixed review upon the medical staff. Unfortunately I have lived in Delhi/NCR long enough to know that the majority of people can't be trusted.”

Yusuke’s words were not in isolation. Many Japanese in the city, for no apparent reasons though, fail to place complete trust on the system when they walk into a hospital. It is not easy to communicate in a foreign language to a foreign doctor when you are in pain, especially when you do not place much faith on the system itself. But then Yusuke is lucky. “I know that there are many very qualified and amazing doctors in the city. I personally know a few.” Unexpectedly, my journey to Artemis proved to be quite surprising. While the public relations executive Suchismita was friendly and explained in details the support they provide to the Japanese expats in the city, she also connected me to the dedicated Japanese doctor working with them to handle Japanese clients. 

Dr Misako MatsumaruDr. Misako Matsumaru, who sits in the OPD of Artemis, politely explains that she is employed by an external agency named “WellBe” and she looks after not only Japanese but at times European patients also. “On average, about 5 patients visit to me every day. Half of them are wife of expats and their children. Their chief complaints are respiratory and gastrointestinal symptom due to environmental deterioration.” Artemis even has a Japanese translator to assist the patients in case they find it difficult to communicate to the supporting medical staff. 

A comparative study between various hospitals on key issues are given below:


So why are not other hospitals taking cue from what Artemis is doing and improving on their support facility towards the Japanese?  AnuragRana,MarketingExecutiveofColumbiaAsia,explains, “ Anumberofagenciesworkasthemiddlemenandexpats.Wenormallygetforeignpatientsthroughthem.” This explains why hospitals shy away from improving their own infrastructure and incur additional overhead costs.

But are we able to improve the trust factor among the expats? Yusuke doesn't seem to be sure. When pressed hard he says, "I am hopeful that most of these doctors are good. After all India ranks high on the list of medical tourism." Seems like we have to go a few miles more before we establish our faith among our foreign friends in the city.

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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