A 75-year-old man from Saitama Prefecture, Japan, has died after being refused treatment as many as 36 times at 25 different hospitals in an around the prefecture, Japanese website The Mainichi has revealed.

On Jan. 6 this year at approximately 11:25 p.m., a pensioner from Kiki City, Saitama called for an ambulance, stating that he was experiencing chest pains. Despite the ambulance arriving promptly and the man being carried on board, the patient was then driven to multiple hospitals both in and outside the prefecture in search of one that would take him in. Some three hours after having been picked up, the man was pronounced dead at a hospital in neighbouring Ibaraki Prefecture.

The man was refused treatment at a total of 25 hospitals, with reasons such as “a lack of available doctors” and “a shortage of beds” being given, with authorities stressing that they are struggling to keep hospitals adequately staffed during public holidays and weekends.

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ Fire and Disaster Management Agency, more than 17,000 cases of emergency patients being refused treatment at three or more hospitals were recorded in 2011. A representative from Kuki City is quoted as admitting that being denied medical attention more than 36 times as this particular man was, is “on the large side.”

Source: 毎日JP