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People go to the emergency rooms of big hospitals even for slight ailments, causing a congestion of patients.

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Yasufumi Itani, deputy director of Kanagawa Children's Medical Center, on one reason why Japan's emergency health care system is crumbling. (AFP-Jiji)

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Hmm medical treatment now or medical treatment later by appointment? Most people who are capable of affording it, would like it now. Also, the moral obligation that comes with a patient coming to the hospital is important too. The worst headline for any hospital to see on the front page of newspaper is "Patient turned away at emergency room, being told condition was not serious" or something of that sort of bad publicity.

Maybe having a degree of separation between the emergency room doctors and the patient at first. Like a trained nurse that can record symptoms, and can conduct standard tests (or send samples to the lab) before a doctor is even seen, but isnt allowed to come to a diagnoses or treat because that isnt their job or within their capabilities. Doing this could weed out the sniffles, the migranes, the heartburn people, etc ad nauseum - but the doctor would make the final say of treatment. I am no doctor or health facilities management specialist, so I dont know the overall pros/cons of this but it is an idea at least.

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