A sad reality in medical service in Japan

A good friend of mine, Bob W6CYX, has sent me this news to me yesterday. I was going to mention about it in my japanese blog. He seemed to be really surprised at this news.


In summary, a 75 years old man has got dyspnea at home and has been refused to admit from 25 hospitals. By the time when he was transferred to a hospital at last, he was already dead. He could have been saved from possibly his cardiopulmonary event if he should have been admitted into a hospital earlier.

There are a few things to be added to this news.

One point is that, as another news source says, the patient lived alone possibly with his pension or some social security. No family members there. It means once he was hospitalized, it might be very difficult for him at his age after such a serious health event to get back home. Medical facilities are never heavily subsidized at all. Most of emergency hospitals are in financial difficulties or, at best, in marginal situation despite of some subsidiaries from local governments etc. They are required to have patients discharged as soon as they recover. For the past years, since the Prime Minister Koizumi's "Structural Reformation for the Global Standard", the facilities for those getting through the acute phase of illnesses/accidents have been decreased in number.  Nor there are many nursing facilities for those living alone who require care for long time. This could be the reason why so many hospitals refused this patient to admit to.

The other point is that doctors working for emergency service have been required to give the best quality of medicine whatever his/her speciality may be. The courts have sentenced that way to quite a few doctors accused for "malpractice" .  Medical fields are finely subdivided now. No one doctor could cover all those diverse specialities. Yet, even at night in emergency, people expect they could be treated in the best way as if in a professional hopital with sufficient number of specialists etc. No wonder doctors are getting very careful to do with some serious cases. This might be another reality.

This case is a real tragic case. But who knows each of us could be such a patient in Japan in the near future. It won't be resolved with only criticizing the personel of the emergency room in hopitals.

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