Friday, January 04, 2008

Where's Michael Moore?

The doctor will see the moneyed and insured, but less fortunate also ail

Hirata said his facility is not intended solely for the wealthy, but because of its location, most of its foreign patients are employees of Japanese units of foreign financial companies and are well-insured.

Those without insurance sometimes pay the full charge in cash, he said. In fact, all uninsured patients are required to pay ¥30,000 as a deposit and to cover the first consultation fee.

"I'm afraid we cannot provide our service to those who cannot afford the payment," Hirata explained. Full story at the Japan Times Online.

Oh, no! In Japan's socialized health care system? Why, even it is becoming foreign! An even bigger problem is that of emergency patients dying while ambulance crews desperately search for a hospital which will accept them. Usually it's something like, "Oh, we are too busy" or "We haven't enough doctors," or even "He/she may have a contagious disease," so they are basically left to die in an ambulance. For example, the latest case.

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