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John Hopkins Hospitals- Now at Tokyo

eport's ranking of American hospitals the past 16 years.

While 69 percent of hospitals run by local governments had operating losses in 2005, Tokyo Midtown Medical Center aims to be profitable in three years, according to the clinic's chief operating officer Tetsuya Furukawa. He expects the clinic to attract clients from among the estimated 13,000 foreign residents who live in and around Roppongi.

Developing ``state-of-the-art'' clinics overseas is an area of ``explosive growth'' for Johns Hopkins Medicine International, the group said in its 2006-2007 annual report.

``Our goal is to make new discoveries and new treatments available in Japan,’’ says Steve Thompson, chief executive officer of Johns Hopkins Medicine International.

Demand for private health services is increasing among the estimated 1.4 million millionaires living in Japan, according to Koichi Kawabuchi, a professor at Tokyo Medical and Dental University.

``Japan's health care is economy class and wealthier people are willing to pay for business class services”, Kawabuchi was quoted.

And business class service, it is indeed. At the Tokyo clinic, doctors can get advice from colleagues at Johns Hopkins via videoconference and patients can be referred to the hospital in Baltimore for treatment unavailable in Japan. Bilingual staff, nutritionists and cosmetologists are on staff.

Fees start from 80,000 yen for a one-day appointment to 2 million yen for a three-day package. This includes screening for 250 disorders and a room at the Ritz-Carlton featuring panoramic views of Tokyo and Mount Fuji.

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