Get tough with selfish ‘patients’

Regarding the July 24 Bloomberg Focus article, “Retirees swell national debt treating clinics as clubs“: I completely agree. To go further, I personally would mark these people as selfish and inconsiderate of others.

I do not go to the doctor unless I have a serious illness, injury or ailment that will not go away after home rest and over- the-counter treatments. The last time I went (for serious food poisoning), I still had to wait several hours behind a gaggle of retirees who obviously were there just to kill time.

Even if you arrive 30 minutes before the clinic opens, you still find yourself 20th or 30th on the waiting list. No appointments allowed, first come, first served. And these wastrels have plenty of time to make sure they are the first ones to waste the doctor’s time. The government suggestion that the length of time spent in the hospital should be shortened, along with more home care, is a good one.

Might I suggest that the doctors themselves show some backbone and tell their “patients” that unless they are actually ill, they will not be allowed more than two visits per month. Let the people who really need medical help have a chance.

william noll
tokyo

The opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are the writer’s own and do not necessarily reflect the policies of The Japan Times.