Friday, September 23, 2016

American English, British English and Japanese English

Now, I am studying American accents using CDs and books. When I talk to American people, they usually understand my English. Some native speakers say that they can recognize every words I speak. However, it looks like the TOEFL requires more than that. I should speak English more like American native speakers. So I am studying to improve my accents.
Nevertheless, I am still dissatisfied with it.

A few weeks ago, I went on a trip to England. It was my first time to visit there, so I enjoyed seeing around a lot. There are many different things and cultures from American and Japanese ones. They were interesting for me.
English they are using is also different. I could not understand what they said, and I asked them to repeat it. Since I did not think that British English was very different from American English, I was afraid that my listening skill had become worse. However, when I came back the US and talked with an immigration officer, I understood her completely. So I was relieved that my listening skill was still ok. I understand that American English and British English are different, even though they are both English.

What I want to say here is, there are many types of English, such as British English and Indian English. Even in the US, people in northern area and southern area speak different English. Then, why they do not accept “Japanese English”? Chines English, Russian English, Spanish English, …? Of course, if people cannot understand the English, it is a problem; but if people understand the English with a little effort, it is just a variation, isn’t it?
What do you think?

Friday, September 9, 2016

Difference of the health insurance systems in Japan and the US

Since I was studying for the pharmacy exam and learned about the health insurance system in the US, I would like to talk about the difference between the health insurance systems in Japan and the US. I thought that it was interesting. ( I will not talk about the affordable care here.)

First, the Japanese insurance system is much simpler than the Americans one, All Japanese people are provided insurance by the government, which is pretty cheap. So when they go see doctors, they just have to pay 30% of the total costs. However, only about 50% of Americans enroll in health insurance, because it is very expensive. Even though there are Medicare and Medicaid for special needs, most of insurances are private and each insurance company covers the medical cost differently. People have to pay for part of the cost as deductible, coinsurance or co-pay.

Secondly, Japanese people can go to any clinics and hospitals they like. This means, there is no primary doctors in Japan. However, Americans usually have to go see their primary doctors first (although it depends on HMOs or PPOs). Primary doctors recommend specialists for their patients, if they need more medication. Therefore, it takes more time and effort for patients to get treatments.

Finally, American insurance companies authorize for medical services. Physicians need to obtain approval from their patients’ health insurance plans to prescribe a specific medication for you. This is called prior authorization. Prior authorization is a technique for minimizing costs, wherein benefits are only paid if the medical care has been pre-approved by the insurance company. Japanese insurance does not have such a system, so people can get any medication as they want.

I think that the Japanese medical system is better, but government medical cost have been increasing, which is a big problem. Health is the most important thing in life, so we should think about medical care.