Health check-ups

I'm not feeling well and feel I need to get a complete checkup or physical. It is my understanding that the national health insurance only covers diagnosed illness but not such preventive care. What can I do? -- Phillip in Tokyo

Dear Phillip in Tokyo,

That is a tricky one. Technically, you are right. While many are quick to criticize the National Health Insurance program it does work quite well. The main problems are, as you have pointed out, a number of specific restrictions, the 'assembly line' form of medicine, where the average is four minutes per doctor visit, and the high price if you have a large income.