25 hospitals turn man down: A Japanese man was turned down by 25 different hospitals, who said they lacked doctors and beds.
A 75-year-old Japanese man died after he was refused entry into 25 hospital emergency rooms 36 different times over a two-hour span. The hospitals said they did not have enough beds or doctors to care for him.
The unidentified man, who lived alone in Kuki, located north of Tokyo, called an ambulance after he experienced breathing problems and chest pains on Jan. 6, reported The Mainichi newspaper.
Paramedics rushed him to 25 hospitals, but officials said they could not accept him due to manpower and bed shortages, according to AFP, citing an official on Tuesday.
When the paramedics transported him to a hospital in nearby Ibaraki prefecture, which took 20 minutes, he was pronounced dead soon after he arrived, reported the Japan Daily Press, citing the Jiji Press. The cause of his death was not publicized.
It took nearly three hours after he made the phone call for paramedics to get him to the hospital, according to the Mainichi.
A paramedic said he never heard of a patient being turned away so many times in one incident, according to AFP. Officials in Kuki called on local hospitals to try to improve their capacity.
The man’s death underscores one of the problems surrounding Japan’s increasingly aging population. As the country’s birth rate has declined, there has been an increase in elderly people living longer, meaning that more and more older people are filling up hospitals, the Daily Press points out.
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