The Current Situation of Aging Japanese Retirees and Their Impacts on Medical Services in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand

Main Article Content

Elisa Nishikito

Abstract

This study aimed at investigating the current situation of aging Japanese retirees and their impacts
on medical services in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand. Data were gathered from in-depth interviews
with 19 participants comprising of Japanese retirees, representatives of Japanese associations,
support organizations, and medical facilities where this group is known for seeking medical
assistance. The results revealed that private hospitals in Chiang Mai have interpreters and offer
quick service. However, medical fees are expensive, and they might not be well-equipped for
complex and specialized treatment, which restricts the provision of services. At public hospitals,
the lack of interpreters, unpaid medical bills by Japanese retirees who lack financial resources,
and Japanese retirees who are near death and brought in to pass away are an extra burden to
the system. Cases of Japanese retirees at hospitals in Chiang Mai were revealed to be lower
than 1% of the total cases. However, they reflect the problems and issues faced by this group.
Therefore, recommendations for improving medical services and reconsidering the long-stay
program are presented.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

Section
บทความวิจัย

References

Chamcham, C. & Soparat, O. (2012). Long-Stay of the Japanese in Chiangmai: Analysis of Determining

Factors in Pre-and Post-Period of Coming. Japanese Studies Journal 29 (1), 16-34.

Chanchalor, A. (2017). Views and Trends Regarding the Long-Stay Lodging Business for the Elderly

Japanese in Chiang Mai. Jsn Journal Special Edition, 204-220.

CLL Newsletter. (2019, June 1). Rongu Sutei Biza Enchou Youken no Henkou ni Tsuite [Changes in the

Requirements for Long-Stay Visa Renewal] CLL Newsletter. http://www.cll-thaijp.net/newsletter

Consulate-General of Japan in Chiang Mai (2017, December 9). Chenmai de no Shuukatsu: Sorezore ga

Junbi Subeki Koto [Making Preparations for One’s Ending in Chiang Mai]. Presented at the 5th SCC

Symposium, Chiang Mai.

Duangkaew, S. (2016). Lifestyle Migration of Japanese Long-Stayers and that Impact in Chiang Mai.

[Doctoral Dissertation, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan].

http://ir.lib.u-ryukyu.ac.jp/handle/20.500.12000/33727

Fukahori, H., Baba, Y., Hioki, F., Mongkong, S., Intarasombat, P., Malathum, P. (2011) Healthcare Services

for Japanese Elderly Long-Staying in Thailand from the Perspective of the Patient and Healthcare

Providers: A Survey Study. Archives of Gerontology and Geriatrics, 53 (2), 168-173.

Health and Global Health Institute. (2015). Japan Health Policy Now. Retrieved from:

www.japanhpn.org

Hongsranagon, P. (2005). Activities Arrangements in Chiang Mai Province for Long Stay Japanese

Pensioner Tourists. Journal of Demography, 21 (2), 85-98.

. (2006). Japanese Senior Tourists: An Untapped Potential in Thailand’s Tourism

Industry. The Journal of Behavioral Sciences, 1 (1), 55-61.

, Pnariansaen, R., Prabsangob, K. & Muadchaithong, C. (2015). Determining Factors for

and Social Integration of Japanese Lifestyle Migrants in Bangkok, Thailand: A Case Study. J Health Res, 29 (1), 71-78.

Kajimoto, T. (2019, April 10). Retiring Late: As Pensions Underwhelm, More Japanese Opt to Prolong

Employment. Reuters. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-japan-economy-retirement/retiring-late-as-pensions-underwhelm-more-japanese-opt-to-prolong-employment-idUSKCN1RM0GP

Kakaku.com Insurance. (n.d.) Insurance. Retrieved from https://hoken.kakaku.com/insurance/travel/

select/cost/thailand/

Leng, Chee Heng. (2007). Medical Tourism in Malaysia: International Movement of Healthcare

Consumers and the Commodification of Healthcare. Asia Research Institute Working Paper Series

, Singapore: National University of Singapore, 1-32.

Long Stay Foundation. (2018). Rongu Sutei Kibou Koku Chiiki 2018 Toppu Ten o Happyou [Top Ten

Preferred Destinations for Long-Stay Year 2018]. Retrieved from

http://www.longstay.or.jp/newslist/open/entry-3456.html/tpl/entry_responsive_os.html

Medical Departures. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.medicaldepartures.com/clinic/chiangmai-ram-

hospital-medical

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan. (2018). Annual Report of Statistics on Japanese Nationals

Overseas. https://www.mofa.go.jp/mofaj/toko/page22_000043.html

Miyashita, Y., Akaleephan, C., Asgari-Jirhandeh, N. & Sungyuth, C. (2017). Cross-border Movement of

Older Patients: A Descriptive Study on Health Service Use of Japanese Retirees in Thailand.

Globalization and Health, (13) 14, 1-11. DOI: 10.1186/s12992-017-0241-9

Ninkitsaranont, P. (2019). Thailand Industry Outlook 2019-21: Private Hospital Industry. Krungsi

Research. https://www.krungsri.com/bank/getmedia/587ccdaa-91a8-4305-a86f-30ea43558f0b/IO_Private_Hospital_190624_EN_EX.aspx

Nishikito, E. (2018). Medical Interpreters’ Knowledge and Communication Skills for Effective Teamwork

with Doctors and Nurses: Based on a Study of Japanese-Thai Interpreters at Three Private Hospitals in Chiang Mai. Japanese Studies Journal 35 (2), 16-41.

Numbeo. (2020). Retrieved from https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living

Ono, M. (2008). Long-Stay Tourism and International Retirement Migration: Japanese Retirees in

Malaysia. Senri Ethnological Reports 77, 151-162.

Saengpassa, C. (2019, May 15). Mandatory Health Insurance for Retirement Visa Holders Likely to Take

Effect in July. https://www.nationthailand.com/national/30369468

SCC News. (2016, June 12, no.12). Souryouji to no Kaigi Houkoku: Dai 2 Kai Rongu Sutei Koureisha

Taisaku Kaigi [Report on the Second Meeting with Consular Officers on the Policy for Long

Staying Seniors]

Senshu, Y. (2015, November). Media’s Role in Dividing a Community: A Case of Japanese

Communities in Thailand. Chiang Mai: Chiang Mai University, 715-724.

Thai Property Group. (2020). Mandatory Health Insurance for the Retirement Visa.

https://www.thai-property-group.com/en/mandatory-health-insurance-for-the-retirement-visa/

Thang, L.L., Sone, S. & Toyota, M. (2012). Freedom Found? The Later-life Transnational Migration of

Japanese Women to Western Australia and Thailand. Asian and Pacific Migration Journal, 21 (2),

-262. https://doi.org/10.1177/011719681202100206

Yamagishi, H. (2019). Chenmai Shuuchaku Eki [Chiang Mai, the Final Destination]. Society for the

Study of Care and Support in Chiang Mai (SCC): Chiang Mai.