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Saitama man dies after hospitals reject him 36 times

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Rejected 36 times...this country is going downhill.

36 ( +36 / -5 )

The man should never have been rejected from the nearest hospital.

38 ( +34 / -1 )

no doctors? no beds? What's wrong with this picture? Hospital place too much burdens on doctors but pay them minimum wage with very long working hours. Most doctors are part-time. Even unversity hospitals, in one department, there is one professor, an assistant professor and maybe 2 to 4 permanentlt employed members. The rest are part time or yearly contract. And most residents will start a skin clinic or Internal Med dispensing only drugs for allergies and common flu.

The image that doctors make a lot of money is actually false. Maybe some does but the rest, they can't even make 5M in a year.

10 ( +13 / -3 )

And I have read and seen advertisements for "medical tourism" in Japan. WTH?

16 ( +17 / -2 )

LOL, this is ridiculous.

Having said that, I walked into a hospital in Saitama the other week, in the middle of the day asking to see a doctor to get some very basic antibiotics, and was told there was nobody to see me!! Insane! Why be open, if there are no doctors in the hospital?!?

I had to go to another hospital to get what I wanted (which was also in Saitama, and a tiny clinic full of old people).

It really is not looking good for health care in Japan.

4 ( +11 / -6 )

I guess I won't be retiring in Saitama.

5 ( +8 / -3 )

The city of Kuki has asked hospitals in the region to improve their emergency room capacity, the official said.

What happened to this guy is horrific and sad but .. its not really a case of just getting some more beds.

The problem is (firstly) there are just NOT enough doctors working in the inaka. And the doctors refuse new admissions at night, because if there is a mistake due to them being over stretched, it is that doctor who will end up with a liability lawsuit. Cant say I blame them.

We dont know why this guy died, but its possible he needed surgery. Its the junior docs who are working at night, not the surgeons, and they are VERY reluctant to wake up their bosses in the middle of the night for something like this.

Regardless, change is needed. RIP old guy...

9 ( +11 / -2 )

One of the bigger problems is the warehousing of patients for one to two months for something simple just to keep the beds full.

This leaves little room for adding people who really need care. Send people home when they are able.

13 ( +14 / -1 )

Leave it to Saitama. Seems like most of the strange stuff happens here.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

In 2004 they did away with the 'ikkyouku seido' , where interns entered an ikkyouku a department of medicine and became a direct employee of that office. The professors had ultimate authority and sent doctors all over, for stints of 2-4 years, and the countryside was covered (but there were still of course places that needed more doctors). It was decided that doctors should be able to choose where they worked instead of being told where to go and for how long, and be given no choice in the matter. It's no surprise that no one chooses do-inaka places with one hospital. While the old system was bad for doctors and their families, the new system consistently shorts the countryside.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

I will never understand this system of picking up a patient, NOT being able to do anything for them (paramedics can do next to nothing here) and THEN in addition to not being able to do anything, having to then ring around for a hospital.You stand better chance of being treated and admitted if you call a taxi!

Japan needs TRAINED paramedics that are ALLOWED to practice lifesaving medicine, a system where the ambulance dispatcher rings for a hospital whle the ambulance drivers are on their way so they have a place to go IMMEDIATELY, and a culture change where are basic staff are always on call and can be reached, and hospitals with ERs not being allowed to refuse a patient. ER Nurse Practitioners should be allowed to practice medicine for lifesaving purposes. They know far more than the Jr doctors anyway.

God knows the NHS has its problems back in the UK but when it comes to emergency medicine it still does a good job. Because the paramedics and NPs CAN do things, and ER rooms MUST accept anyone that comes in. You may have to wait but skilled paramedics and nurses can take you out of a critical condition and buy you time.

Here the doctors are so intent on clinging on to power that no one else is allowed to do anything.

And yes, their salaries are rubbish working in a hospital. Some even work in university hospitalsfor next to nothing for the experience. The money is had in private clinics and hospitals.

13 ( +16 / -4 )

This is a rampant problem in Japan. We have seen articles very similar to this one so many times. I think OKINAWAMIKE-san is on to something here. A lot of the treatments here takes so long it is not even funny!

7 ( +6 / -0 )

In my area the Hospital is closed on weekends. If its an emergency, they give you basic care but tell you to wait until monday for extra tests and service. In other words, try not to die or have an accident on weekends in JP. Mondays are so busy, you probably wont get help either.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

By the way cause of death should mention NEGLIGENCE!

12 ( +11 / -1 )

The Red Cross, to my knowledge treats even the impoverished homeless. This is a strange story.State hospitals are paid for by the people's taxes. This man's family should sue all these hospitals to the hilt!

3 ( +3 / -1 )

simply angry... dont the hospitals have statistics? if capacity is almost full its time to upgrade! all the hospital must share some disciplinary action.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Well, this is not a new problem.

First of all, you have to understand that most of the places that are called "hospital" in Japan would be called a "clinic" in other countries. Go to a real hospital and you'll have a better chance. They do exist, at least is large cities. You will, however, be hard pressed to find a real Emergency Room of the sort that is common in countries such as the U.S.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

I just truly hope this wasn't a case of, he was picked up, and didn't have current ID or heath insurance details so the hospitals were reluctant to take him, said please try somewhere else..

Really not sure, just a thought..

And the paramedics.. hospital says we are busy, tough.. show up with the guy!!!

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Let's hope the this story gets picked up by the major international news agencies and the ensuing publicity embarrasses the government into doing something about it. But then again. it wouldn't would it.

7 ( +8 / -1 )

This has happen before. With the possibility of a major earthquake happening at anytime, hospitals should be better equipped to receive all types of patient emergencies. Japan should create a new law to prevent this type of behavior or arrest all of the hospital administrators from the 25 hospitals and charge them ALL with criminal negligence.

10 ( +9 / -0 )

Hospitals need to go back to being hospitals and not nursing homes for the elderly.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

In Japan, there are no clear guidelines in hospitals to refuse patients. Physical violence and verbal abuse directed at doctors, nurses and staff members is a problem in some hospitals. Longs waits and stress are often the trigger for incidents. The Japan health care system is very inefficient and wasteful and they have the longest hospital stays in the world. Patients often stay in the hospital much longer than they need to. Japanese people are prescribed a lot of medicines, and often get a lot of tests they don’t need simple because the know that heath insurance will pay for it. Japan health care system will go bankrupt in few decades unless major change take place.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Understaffing, overworking and lack of bedding is not a problem unique to Japan. Neither is people waiting an insane amount of time to see a clinician, nurse or medic in a hospital "emergency" setting. Just look at the NHS. But at least with the NHS the patient is actually waiting in the hospital. If the poor bloke had died after being turned away from just one hospital then one could argue that his chances of survival were slim in the first place...but 36 times? Thats just ridiculous and this man was basically left to die.

6 ( +6 / -0 )

The only area where trained paramedics are allowed to perform any 'life-saving procedures is Akita, where they have an embarrassingly higher success rate in managing CPR than physicians. It is the 'oyajis' of the Japan Medical Association who refuse to allow others to do much beyond driving a glorified taxi, sticking a blanket over their patient's body and some oxygen up their nose...

8 ( +8 / -0 )

ChibaChick says it all.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

And only yesterday we saw Abe pledging to maintain Japan's renowned universal healthcare service from imaginary predation.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I wonder if the government refused to accept his healthcare payments. They probably had no trouble there.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Good follow up to the story about Russia wanting to import Japanese carers and healthcare practices.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Did the man not get sick during business hours?

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Your taxes at work, folks!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

@kimuzukashiiiii

And the doctors refuse new admissions at night, because if there is a mistake due to them being over stretched, it is that doctor who will end up with a liability lawsuit. Cant say I blame them.

There are exceptions... an "overly confident" intern did "examine" my closest friend at 01:15am in a Tokyo hospital (Yoyogi) pronounced him "drunk" (although he had only had one small glass of beer) put him on an IV then, at 04:30, sent us home. I KNEW he wasn't drunk but didn't know where else to turn. In fact, he had suffered brain haemorrhaging, was taken off to another hospital the next morning (in Mitaka) where he was operated on. He never awoke from his vegetative coma and passed away 2 years and three months later. Although I did try to do something about it, that first doctor was never sued...

3 ( +6 / -3 )

After the second time, the paramedics should have refused to move him to another hospital and made it clear that that hospital would have to find a solution to the problem by making room somehow or calling in a doctor. This kind of death should never be allowed to happen.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Any hospital that turns away someone because of "lack of beds or doctors" should be forced to have a large, red, skull displayed on the entrance doors and on the side of the building.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

In Japan, it is not a good idea to be sick at the weekend or on public holidays. Ideally, plan to be sick between 9 and 5 Monday to Friday. If you cannot plan to be sick then, good luck.

3 ( +5 / -2 )

Guess they are not big on the Hippocratic Oath here in Japan

6 ( +7 / -1 )

Better not break any bones here, until the whole population gets hypnotised, to encourage the young to work, have families, and take mandatory vacations. Or do we need a dictator for the issue?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Probably lack of health insurance due to being unemployed for many years prior to retirement. Happens all the time in Japan. Though this usually doesn't make it into the news. Plus patients need to bring in a big bundle of cash in order to be admitted into hospital or a relative accompanying him/her to ensure payment in cash between 20 to 30% of the total amount, which can be very high in case of an operation.

-4 ( +0 / -4 )

I suggest criminal charge. This is at least professional negligence times 36. I wonder why the ambulance doesn't just take him to the closest hospital, permission or not...

3 ( +3 / -0 )

And I have read and seen advertisements for "medical tourism" in Japan. WTH?

Because it's scheduled at private clinics and paid for out of pocket by fat-cat plotocrats from China, Russia, etc.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Kudos to Abenomics. What a brilliant way to solve the pension payment problem by systematically eradicating the oldies who are liviing on their pensions. Let the unemployed commit suicides. Let the single mothers and their infants die of hunger. And bravo to the LDP to have created such a clever system in their 50 years of almost unbroken rule. No wonder they refused again and again to implement structural reforms despite public outcry for reforms for the last 20 over years.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

Reckless Mar. 06, 2013 - 09:17AM JST I suggest criminal charge. This is at least professional negligence times 36. I wonder why the ambulance doesn't just take him to the closest hospital, permission or not...

How are you going to do that? Remember this is Japan, not U.S. In Japan last year, there were over 16,000 people in serious condition were refused admission by hospitals three times or more during ambulance transport. This was 20 percent increase from the previous year.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

sfjp330, true, this is not the U.S. They do not check your credit card or demand payment up front here. The problem is that it was on the weekend when most hospital staff are off.

However, if they were more computer savvy in this supposedly high-tech country, they would have found a hospital that would have been able to accept him and been guided there by navi instead of making so many fruitless calls.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

They do not check your credit card or demand payment up front here.

Dunno about now, but some 25 years ago when our infant son fell ill over the New Year's holidays, we took him to the nearest hospital that was open and had to produce a cash payment of I think it was 3,000 yen before the receptionist would even call the doctor out of the back office. Meanwhile our son was lying limp in my arms. Turned out to be nothing too serious, but we didn't know that at the time and neither did the stupid money-grabbing hospital.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

Is this issue back or has it never really gone away?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

That is terrible.. but in America.. people get turned away at the hospital if you dont have insurance. I think a lot of people take up doctors time and hospital beds because it is easy to do so with current system in Japan.. and this lets some who really need care to fall through the cracks. The fastest growing industry must be anti aging therapy and plastic surgery to get eyes widened, faces changed for vanity.. that is where the money is so that is where medical people will try to work. With an aging population it is important.. very important for people to practice preventative health care.. low fat diets and exercise.. a lot of elderly sit around and the government wants you to hurry up and die. The government should pay for training public medical personnel.. who do not make the big money but serve the public.. but people must try to eat right, exercise, stop smoking .. that really can make a difference you peoples health. McDonalds allows smoking in their restaurants.. that shit will kill you.

-6 ( +1 / -7 )

Wow, here we are all this time thinking we had health insurance (NHI). Turns out you are paying for it but that doesn't mean you can get it.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Gov't plans to spend Y10 tril on public works in 15 months

By Tomasz Janowski and Kaori Kaneko

Politics Feb. 24, **2013 - 03:00PM JST ( 53 )

TOKYO

What do you buy the nation that already seems to have everything?

First of all, I am very sorry to hear this. This could have been avoided if Japan invests enough in good cause in humanity. No more bridges to nowhere, no cultural centers, no more airports. You need to build more hospitals, nursing homes, nursing and medical training schools.

I am posting the above that was a topic on JT on Feb.24 for reference.

Do not believe in Japanese propaganda that you are in the middle class and you seem to have everything. If you had enough hospitals, nursing homes, medical professionals, something like this never happend. You are not in the middle class compared to other developed countries.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Public health care in Japan is heavily subsidised and generally of a high global standard.

Which doesn't say much now when cases like this happen now does it?

There is no excuse what so ever for something like this to happen. Howevver what is even worse in my opinion is that not enough people here are shocked enough to DEMAND changes from the government and their elected leaders.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

No hospital in the US and turn away a patient with anything life threatening buy law. They may want to just stabilize and then transport you to another hospital (Public) but you are not going to die. As for Japan, the problems is that Japan doesn't seem to have a real EMS system. The ambulance shouldn't be wasting time trying to find out where to go, they should know that before they leave. Some in the government should make sure there is a hospital open for emergency in an area. All hospitals are not like and EMS should know what hospital specializes in what for a given area. There should also be a hospital in an area that is a top care center for emergencies. But you can't have that in Japan because hospital are not independently certified and doctors are doctors for life with no continuing education requirement. So you should know what hospital you need to go to before you get sick. Actually this is good advice in any country. Do you what the top 3 or 10 in your area or country. It is not hard to find out. I like going to Mayo Clinic ( ranked #3 in the US). Mayo is a system that have a staff of 56,000. Which is something for being in a town of less than 110,000 people. Back to Japan, you may want to see if you are near any one of these: http://www.japaninc.com/mgz_summer_2006_hospital_guide

2 ( +4 / -2 )

OK the hospitals refused because there were no doctors or free beds. Every hospital has doctors on call and why did the man need a free bed? One can only conclude he did not have National Health Insurance and these hospitals did not want to have to pay the bill for the mans stay in hospital and the fee for the on call doctor.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Saitama and ALL of JAPAN should be ashamed of letting this old Japanese man die like this! Rejecting this 76 year old man almost 40 times??? This is unbelievable! We are talking about Japan, not Bangladesh, right??

1 ( +2 / -1 )

It always happened in Japan. Japan ER and hospital system is different compared to other countries.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Doctors in Japan are primarily Doctors for one reason, which is why most of them become eye specialists. Less work, more money but still get into the old boys club.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

So sad :( This story reminds me of the pregnant lady a couple of years ago who was turned away by a bunch of hospitals and ended up dying. Emergency patients should never be denied care. I mean, there should not only be ER doctors but there are inpatients - which means there are doctors in each ward. Why can't they provide care?

But this is Japan - where drunks call the ambulance when they had too much to drink and get taken to the ER. No ambulance cuz the drunks are using them as taxi and no beds at hospitals cuz drunks are using them. Being drunk is not an emergency! These fools who take up ambulances and hospital beds cuz of alcohol should be fined. I know this is a whole differenct issue but it might free up bed spaces!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Public health care in Japan is heavily subsidised and generally of a high global standard.

Really? Compared to where? Bali? Japan's medical system is based on minimal care for a maximum premium. Also, with the ageing society they are gonna need major health care reforms, but I haven't heard any of the past 5 PM in four years mention anything about that. These kinds of incidents are gonna become more common.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

One can only conclude he did not have National Health Insurance and these hospitals did not want to have to pay the bill for the mans stay in hospital and the fee for the on call doctor.

No you CAN NOT come to this conclusion because it has happened in the past as well and with people who have insurance too.

Just because there is a lack of information in the article about whether or not he had insurance, the SAFER presumption is that he had insurance because the overwhelming majority of people here in Japan DO have health insurance, even if indigent they are able to get insurance at no cost.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Socialized medicine! What is wrong with putting people on beds in the halls, just like they did in major earthquakes? What would Joseph say?

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

I remember when I got influenza in Tokyo. A friend took me to the nearest hospital, a pretty big one, and even when my fever was close to 42 and had insurance, they didn't allowed me to stay there., because the lack of beds. They told me to keep taking my pills and go back home. I had to hold it by myself for a week, and I ended getting panic attacks after I recovered because the big scare I got :(.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

I don't know if any of you remember this but it was Ishihara who changed the Ambulance system. Calls were to be filtered. It was a really old story. I read it here on JT. There was never a follow up story but I heard that someone on the other end of the phone would ask you a series of question to determine if an ambulance should be sent out or not.

If I can find that article I'll link it here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I need to correct myself. It was not Tokyo that started it.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/national/view/city-in-wakayama-to-test-new-emergency-call-filtering-system

I'll check again but I'm sure this same system was implemented in Tokyo.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I remember when I got influenza in Tokyo. A friend took me to the nearest hospital, a pretty big one, and even when my fever was close to 42 and had insurance, they didn't allowed me to stay there., because the lack of beds. They told me to keep taking my pills and go back home. I had to hold it by myself for a week, and I ended getting panic attacks after I recovered because the big scare I got :(.

First let me start by saying I am sorry you got the flu, I hope you fully recovered.

Next I am sorry but I do believe the hospital was correct in NOT letting you stay there. Influenza is a highly contagious illness and the hospital would have to take precautions to isolate you from other patients and protect themselves as well as to not have the virus spread to anyone else.

They were right in telling you to go home. Taking the medicine, getting enough fluids, and plenty of rest, works. Plus it is easier to contain the spread of the illness if you take responsibility and stay at home. Hospital beds should be for those who are truly in need of care by a doctor, I'm worry but a typical influenze bug isn't one of them.

This is a HUGE problem with people being in the hospital here. Common illnesses that could very well be treated at home or through an outpatient service clog the hospitals to the point where people, like the guy in this article here, NEED the space or need to be seen for emergency services but can not because someone with a relatively light illness is taking up the space.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Maria - This is exactly what we are talking about when we talk about people who are being admitted to hospital when they don't need to be.

The flu is, by any standards, horrible, but unless you were an infant, a pensioner, pregnant or had a disease like cancer or HIV in which your immune system is compromised, you do NOT need to be admitted into hospital for a high fever.

Even the people in the subgroups mentioned above only need to be admitted if they develop complications as a result of the flu - like seizures from a high fever, or pneumonia. The hospital were completely right to send you home.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

If in the same situation it may be better to take a taxi to the nearest general hospital and collapse in the foyer. Hopefully a doctor will take pity. Ambulances have to ask permission to come to the hospital. Taxi drivers do not.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

Maybe they should set up something like the train reservation system so that the ambulance drivers can see which hospitals are available at any moment. Instead of phoning around and being fobbed off, the ambulance can go straight to the nearest available hospital. Hospital payments can be based on the percentage of time they are available for receiving emergency patients.

But these kind of incidents have been going on for years and nothing has changed.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I do not see how anyone can be surprised by what happened to this poor man. This is the logical result of socialized health care. When a persons fate is taken out of their own hands and handed over to a cold and uncaring bureaucracy this what you get. Expect these incidences to increase over the coming years.

-3 ( +0 / -3 )

generally of a high global standard.

no it is not!

5 ( +5 / -0 )

This is the logical result of socialized health care.

1) Japan does not have socialized health care.

2) This has nothing to do with socialized health care. Hospitals should be required by law to attend to emergency patients and not be allowed to turn them away. This is a legal matter that has nothing to do with health care coverage and everything to do with the rules of law of how patients should be dealt with.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

1) Japan does not have socialized health care.

slumdog -- really, what is it then? LOL.

This is a legal matter that has nothing to do with health care coverage

Horse feathers. This is a direct result of the rules that are followed by paramedics -- who are really just glorified taxi drivers -- and hospitals as set out by the national, prefectural, and local health authorities. This is absolutely an indictment of the Japanese health care system and I'm glad I am no longer a potential victim of it.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

rce121: "This is just as bad as the situation in California."

It's not really comparable to that situation at all. The nurse should definitely have given the person in question CPR -- and was likely required to under contract -- but this guy being rejected by 36 hospitals is quite different. If it's a question of the lack of ability of paramedics, no one can deny it. They just throw a blanket on you and hold your hand.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

"Public health care in Japan is heavily subsidised and generally of a high global standard." So, that must mean that global standard is of low quality?

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is frightening, poor man. I thought health care here was top notch, seeing that I pay almost 20 000 a month for health insurance. ...and a 1st world country at that!!!

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's not just Japan; okay, 36 rejections is pretty extreme - but this is happening in many countries where the health care system is actually over-extended, but the state of the situation isn't made clear to the public, and the govt doesn't really know what to do about it.

I have many friends who are doctors & EMTs in California and elsewhere in the USA, and all of them can recount similar stories - not to this extent, but of hospitals turning patients away, and for multiple reasons. There have been deaths associated with this in the USA; it's just not widely publicized. There's only so much EMTs can do - no matter how well trained, and they have liability pressures as well.

As for that nurse at the nursing home; it was in the establishment policy not to provide intervention; she was following protocol. Following protocol doesn't make any of this right...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

slumdog -- really, what is it then? LOL.

It is not socialized medicine. That is for sure. You don't pay, you don't get coverage and you do not get care.

This is a direct result of the rules that are followed by paramedics

No. It is a direct result of a legal situation in which hospitals are allowed to turn away patients. Whichi is exactly what I wrote. It is a legal matter.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

The money we put on defense and buying useless islands, that money could have gone to healthcare.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

yup japan is going down down down. its getting worse there especially the crimes committed nowadays....

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

wow TheInterstat, its good for those of u living in japan telling us the bad stuff to the not living over there folks lol. glad i live in vancity ;p freedom lol

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

It's my understanding that in Japan, the ambulance companies are independent of hospitals. It seems to be the combination of socialized hospitals and non-socialized ambulance providers that's the problem.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Amazingly sad and irresponsible tangled web of a system, and RIP to the man who got caught in it. The Japanese government somehow continually keeps pulling out oodles of money from its magic hat to give every other "less developed" country, like Burma and Kazakhstan (in other words, wherever Japanese businesses want to profit off the local people), yet... yet... they can't find enough money to fund basic services in Japan itself. Something is VERY very wrong here. As with any country, Japan needs to focus and clean up its own house before trying to take care of other countries. This kind of thing should never be allowed to happen if any country wants to call themselves "developed" or "advanced".

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Socialized medicine/hospitals means every citizen is automatically covered. They are not automatically covered in Japan. If you do not pay, you are not covered.

I think the misunderstanding comes from the Japanese name 'social insurance/health care'. However, that is just the name. In reality, it is insurance that is paid for with monthy premiums. Don't pay and you are no longer covered. Many young people in Japan are not covered.

Again, it has nothing to do with this case.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

It's my understanding that in Japan, the ambulance companies are independent of hospitals

Typically emergency ambulance service is provided by local fire departments which have ambulances stationed there and are the first responders.

However many hospitals have their own ambulances as well, I used to drive one here so I'd know about that one, yet those ambulances are not typically used for picking up emergency cases like this guy. They are used to transport patients between hospitals.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Nessie The ambulances are not run by companies; they are part of the same emergency service that includes the fire department and related rescue services. They are a municipal government, not a private, operation.

http://japan.usembassy.gov/e/acs/tacs-call.html http://www.tokyo-icc.jp/guide_eng/kinkyu/04.html

There are also some NPO-operated ambulance-like services available, with some special restrictions/requirements. http://call-center.teate.jp/

3 ( +3 / -0 )

No doubt what happened is very sad and bad.

Government should inquire in to this matter and make sure such incident never happen again.

I do not know why some of you are pretending that this kind of things only happen in Japan and international media will exploit this news.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

wow, he got rejected 36 times! in japan??! this is so sad. rest in peace.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I as a Medical Diver,I served my internship at san pedro emergancy room, Ca .I said to the doctor, why dont you save this homeless man from dieing? and then me and a nurse gave him a potasium enima to save his life, and then the doctor threw a file in my lap, that included his medical history for years, it was 6 inches thick! I was put in my place. hey they did everything they could without cost. so let's not rush to judgement and let's wait and see?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

@Patric Spohn While some private clinics/hospitals may still require/expect cash "gifts", many/most hospitals, particularly large ones, very actively and fiercely prohibit them, as a matter of strictly enforced policy.

I have stayed in two major Tokyo university hospitals where this was the case, and know from family/friend experience of at least a dozen others, in Tokyo, Saitama, and Kanagawa. Even inexpensive "thank you" gifts of chocolate or flowers to the nursing staff are prohibited in these hospitals.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

The ambulances are not run by companies; they are part of the same emergency service that includes the fire department and related rescue services. They are a municipal government, not a private, operation.

That is not entirely correct. There are private ambulance companies and there are also emergency services run by local fire departments, etc.

Here is a list of some of the private ambulance companies nationwide:

http://民間救急車.com/

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Just to add, the ambulance in this case was a public one run by a local fire department.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

That is terrible.. but in America.. people get turned away at the hospital if you dont have insurance.

Not from the ER, they don't. That's why uninsured drive up premiums: ERs by law have to accept emergency cases. That's not to say that no one has ever died neglected in a waiting room, or got turned away without care because there wasn't any room for them. The American healthcare system certainly has its flaws. But you don't hear stories about people in ambulances being turned away from literally dozens of hospitals.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Readers, comparisons with other countries are not relevant to this discussion.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

As I and another poster pointed out above, if you don't get sick/injured between 9 and 5 on a week day you are basically screwed, and even then clearly you can get rejected. We haven't heard many cases of this kind of thing happening this year yet, but I still vividly remember the woman who died in labor last year after being rejected nearly the same amount of times, and there's something sick about the hospitals and a society that allows it.

Yeah, I have no doubt there is a lack of beds and staff, so kick the people who don't NEED to be in the beds out, and hire more staff. One of my neighbours badly sprained her ankle while gardening a year or so back and stayed in the hospital almost three months because she didn't want to go home.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

This is totally unacceptable. I could understand (maybe) one or two hospitals rejecting admission, but 25??? Condolences to this man's family and friends.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

As a former navy corpsman, my opinion of doctors and so called ambulance paramedics is rather on the poor side here.. If there were no beds available, the emergency room would have a gurney available for him to rest on while a doctor checks him out. Outright refusing anyone in critical condition may constitute loss of a medical licence. Complaining about the medical situation here fall on deaf ears. It is said, get connected with a doctor friend who will call the hospital and make space available.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

@slumdog Thanks for the link! That was what I was referring to (or trying) in my third link, but your is much better. My understanding is that most of those are run on an NPO basis, but my information may be obsolete.

On that website they do mention a caveat to the effect that "private ambulance will not be able to perform medical procedures as well as an ambulance. Please to not hesitate to call 119 in the case of an emergency."

My brother-in-law is currently setting up an NPO ambulance-like "support taxi" service, primarily aimed at getting people with special needs (wheel chairs, ventilators, etc.) to medical facilities and back, and, I believe, for some limited other activities, but there seem to be restrictions on what they can do (no non-essential shopping trips, for example) which, if I understand it correctly, is related to licensing and the use of insurance for the transportation fees.

It appears that the private and/or NPO outfits are intended to supplement the government service, by transporting non-emergency cases. I could be mistaken, though. There may be different conditions and mechanisms in more remote rural areas, too, where public emergency services are less available.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Influenza can get serious and life threatening. With H1N1 (2009) you had kids in schools that would literally just fall over out of their seats. Adults were collapsing from this virus also.

Once body temperature gets above 42°C or 108°F you get brain damage. A fever is any temperature between 99.6° - 105°F ---> anything greater than 105°F is not a fever and you should go to a hospital (that will accept you)

0 ( +3 / -3 )

Just read this story on yahoo.com top news.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

And this is what I pay in to the Japanese National Health program? I smell a lawsuit!

3 ( +3 / -0 )

This is disgusting. I can't believe that not a single hospital out of the 25 had a doctor available... it beggars belief! It's bad enough that the Japanese have to pay for medical care, but for hospitals to say they can't or won't admit a dying man is just horrible.

RIP old man...

2 ( +2 / -0 )

i didn't realise its legal for the ER to reject customers??

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Must be horrible trying to get into an ER knowing you probably need immediate medical attention and then being told to go home. All my condolences to the man's family and relatives.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I go to a local orthopedic clinic for problems with my shoulders and there is one doctor and the rest are all nurses...there are sooooo many nurses there that is is ridiculous...the doctor runs from patient to patient and you often end up waiting forever even with an appointment because he is hopping around and once he disappears and someone has a question that is serious the nurses all stand around looking confused and not sure what to do and some of them do know what to do but seem hesitant because they aren't authorized...more people need more training that is definitely sure ESPECIALLY as ER's!

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I remember reading about a pilot system where hospitals give real-time availability to a centralized database, which can be consulted on tablets in the ambulance (the system also provided placement advice based on location and health condition). However, many hospitals stopped updating information after a while, which made the whole system useless.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

if you are sick, or going to be, leave JP.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

foreign doctors and nurses should be allowed to work in Japanese hospitals then treatment will be available to wast population.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I live very close to Kuki and have never experienced any problems like this in the hospitals. Poor guy. One thing that my wife commented on (she is an ER nurse in Tokyo) is that clinics and hospitals are full of old people who aren't taking care of themselves or who have very MINOR issues, yet take up much needed space and time for people who actually NEED help.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

hospitals are full of old people who aren't taking care of themselves or who have very MINOR issues

...Including loneliness. For many oldsters, it seems mostly a social thing.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

This story is so sad and it hits home. In January my mother-in-law living in Yokohama was refused hospitalization for spinal injuries. She was told there are no inpatient beds in the area for the elderly dependent on public assistance. They gave her a prescription for pain medication and sent her back to her danchi apartment where she lives alone. She followed the doctors advice - and eventually became immobile. To their credit, the danchi association and neighbors did help with prepared meals, bathroom, bathing, etc. but it got to the point where it was too painful to sit upright. When we found out, my wife flew (from U.S.) in January and has remained to care for her mother. They make bi-weekly trips to the hospital for follow-up exams and more tests, but there is still no space for inpatient care.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Triumvere noted about America, and I read it. I simply said "Americas future" and its been censored.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Influenza can get serious and life threatening. With H1N1 (2009) you had kids in schools that would literally just fall over out of their seats. Adults were collapsing from this virus also.

They shouldn't have been in school in the first place and not every influenza patient needs to be admitted to a hospital. It's ludicrous to think otherwise. Doctors make the call on the severity and no matter how bad YOU may feel it's their call.

If every person who had influenza was admitted to the hospital there would be no room for ANYONE as there are probably hundreds of thousands of people every year that catch it here.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

foreign doctors and nurses should be allowed to work in Japanese hospitals then treatment will be available to wast population.

I don't understand "wast" population, but there are foreign doctors in Japan, if their credentials meet the criteria that Japan sets great, but I dont want to see a doctor here nor anywhere for that matter that doesnt meet the credentials required to be seeing patients.

Same for nurses.

Oh yeah would help if the foreign docs could speak Japanese too!

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Its quicker and safer to have a friend or relative drive you, should you need to get to an ER. If you walk in or are carried/helped in then you will absolutely get seen. If you call forward then they have the option to reject the patient. They shouldnt have that choice but sadly...

0 ( +0 / -0 )

1)Japanese so called "hospital" is a clinic in US, and many of them are not fully equipped and not fully (more than 4 yrs) trained registered nurses to treat trauma patients.

2) As ChibaChick stated, Japanese paramedics are not fully trained for trauma patients in Japan. Also the ambulance is not fully equipped. US ambulance is specially equipped with monitoring, communication systems, and trauma center doctors can monitor the patients when they are on the way to the trauma center.

3)US medical students including nurses are required to take ethics classes for practicing medicine. It is a law.

I agree with many posts here on this topic. I believe the Wealth of Nation should be based on ultimate medical care quality to the people, I believe Japan is failing a big time here. Do not let them fool you that Japan is a rich country.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Globalwatcher

I agree with many posts here on this topic. I believe the Wealth of Nation should be based on ultimate medical care quality to the people, I believe Japan is failing a big time here. Do not let them fool you that Japan is a rich country.

You wont be able to tell any(many) Japanese people that. It's almost scary how much they DON'T care. shoganai(i hate the way they overuse this word)

1 ( +2 / -1 )

If you walk in or are carried/helped in then you will absolutely get seen. If you call forward then they have the option to reject the patient.

Healthcare meets Running Man

0 ( +0 / -0 )

almondjoyMar. 07, 2013 - 04:15PM JST

Globalwatcher

I agree with many posts here on this topic. I believe the Wealth of Nation should be based on ultimate medical care quality to the people, I believe Japan is failing a big time here. Do not let them fool you that Japan is a rich country.

You wont be able to tell any(many) Japanese people that. It's almost scary how much they DON'T care. shoganai(i hate the way they overuse this word)

Then, just stay healthy while you are in Japan. If Japanese themselves do not care, there is nothing we can do about it. They still believe they have everything, and they are in the middle class.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

75-year-old Japanese Man Dies After Hospitals Reject Him 36 Times

http://newsfeed.time.com/2013/03/06/75-year-old-japanese-man-dies-after-hospitals-reject-him-36-times/

Japan, take care of your own people. Your health care system sucks and is not doing a job.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

This is pretty sad, He looked for help, and did not find it. RIP

2 ( +2 / -0 )

1)Japanese so called "hospital" is a clinic in US, and many of them are not fully equipped and not fully (more than 4 yrs) trained registered nurses to treat trauma patients.

With no medical, how much would a trip to the doctor plus prescription cost in the U.S. vs Japan?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

With no medical, how much would a trip to the doctor plus prescription cost in the U.S. vs Japan?

You really want that insurance (or 3rd party) to protect you otherwise in the US they will charge you what they can get away with (US health care costs are out-of-control) = you really do not want to use that ambulance and go yourself, call a taxi or a private ambulance service and ask for price up front.

http://forum.southorangevillage.com/discussion/82195/2635-ems-service-from-maplewood-to-st-barnabas-hospital (a good discussion about this)

EMT (cheaper) vs Paramedic, Public vs Private (could be cheaper) costs. The high medical costs in the US subsidize for the many who underpay (Medicare/Medicade) or do not pay at all =people that have no insurance and can afford to pay will pay the most.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

This has nothing to do with socialized health care. Hospitals should be required by law to attend to emergency patients and not be allowed to turn them away.

If the man was turned away by one or two hospitals, then you could make that case that it is an issue of not obeying the law. Since he was turned away by 36 hospitals it appears to be more about policy and a lack of available care. Japan absolutely has socialized medicine because the costs of care are spread out and equalized over the entire population. People are only required to pay a small amount to receive coverage/care. In any health care system, the money ultimately comes from people - they make the money that runs government. The Left seems to have this belief that government has it's own money and forgets that it comes from people who work for a living.

The Japanese health care system is very heavily regulated by the government (ie. controlled by the government). The bureaucrats have rules set by the government that they must adhere to. Life and health take a back seat to government policies and directives.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

@ ka-chan...well written! Here in the US you go to the ER and if it's a serious life threatening situation you get taken care of 'right now'...i have always heard that Japan had a great medical and health care system lately i've been wondering about those statements...things cost here if you don't have insurance and folks go broke due to illness or serious accident's but the ER must by law admit the patient.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

@yubaru

there are foreign doctors in Japan

The "foreign" doctor I saw in Kobé prescribed a rather "dramatic" operation... The Japanese doctor I visited in Tokyo said it was absolutely NOT necessary...

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I knoiw that the U. S. is a bit litigious at times but this is a prime example of why be litigious. You see, if those hospitals were sued by this man's family member or a friend, these hospitals would change their ways very quickly. There would be a surplus of emergency rooms.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

My favorite medical experience in Japan was when my girlfriend woke up one morning and couldn't open her eyes. She was in extreme pain, was completely blind, and was too scared to function. I drove her to the nearest hospital, and after sitting in a waiting room for 20 minutes I was told there were no doctors at the hospital because it was a holiday. I was flabbergasted! I told the nurse she was obviously not able to wait until tomorrow, and they called around to various clinics, and after about 40 minutes finally found one... on the other side of town... that closed in half an hour. You wouldn't believe how well a keicar handles when you need it to. This sort of thing really needs to be fixed: no doctors?! I'm not surprised. I really hope my country doesn't go too far down the road of socialized medicine so doctors end up like government employees. Medical care from the DMV? No thanks...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

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