In Japan 25 hospitals turned a 75-year-old man down, and he ultimately died in an ambulance, according to a March 5 News 24 report. The man's ambulance was rejected a total of 36 times by 25 different hospitals in Kuki, Saitama Prefecture.
In a two hour time period, the elderly man was turned away by 25 hospitals because they did not have any beds or available doctors. When the man called for help, paramedics were able to quickly respond. Unfortunately, 25 hospitals turned him down for lack of space, so he was unable to get treatment.
Finally, the ambulance transported the man to a hospital about 20 minutes away after all 25 hospitals turned him down. Unfortunately, he was dead just after he arrived at the hospital in the Ibaraki Prefecture.
It is incredibly unusual for a patient who urgently needs care to be turned down so many times in the region. It sounds like the area really needs higher capacity if 25 hospitals were unable to take this 75-year-old man. Hopefully this does not keep happening in the future. People who need emergency medical care should have access to it.
This situation has been blamed on a falling birthrate and a large aging population in Japan. Their medical and social security systems have been strained. It seems that the U.S. could face this type of situation soon too.