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Japanese engineer chooses to undergo cancer surgery in Vietnam despite insurance coverage at home

Friday, January 11, 2019, 19:03 GMT+7
Japanese engineer chooses to undergo cancer surgery in Vietnam despite insurance coverage at home
Udagawa KemlChi is seen following a surgery at Vietnam National Cancer Hospital in Hanoi, Vietnam, in this photo taken from the institution’s website.

A Vietnam-based Japanese engineer has decided to be under the knife for cancer treatment in the Southeast Asian country even when his insurance plan would cover the surgery in his home country.

Udagawa KemlChi, who has worked at the Vietnamese unit of Japanese construction firm Kanto for eighty years, was taken to a branch of K Hospital, or Vietnam National Cancer Hospital, in Hanoi after he found blood in his stool.

The 62-year-old Japanese man had previously experienced general abdominal discomfort and constipation but refused to have a medical examination.

At the infirmary, he was diagnosed with rectal cancer and later underwent radiotherapy and an operation.

Doctors found the surgical procedure difficult but were eventually able to excise his entire tumor, according to a statement on the website of the hospital, which treated several people from Cambodia, Laos and South Korea earlier.

His wife said if he had returned to Japan, all his medical costs would be paid by the health insurance. Still, the engineer chose to undergo the surgery at a Vietnamese hospital because they believed the expertise of its doctors, she added.

Vietnamese hospitals received 300,000 visits for health checks from foreigners last year, according to the health ministry.

Medical experts say rectal cancer is easily mistaken for normal digestive problems such as loss of appetite, indigestion, nausea and constipation and blood in the stool.

They advise visiting the hospital for a prompt check-up when the signs have been abnormally seen.

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Thai Xuan / Tuoi Tre News


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