Injured man denied by five hospitals dies


A 49-year-old man who was injured in a traffic accident last week died after he was rejected by five emergency rooms in Osaka, police and ambulance staff said.

Masao Nishimura was riding a motorcycle when he collided with a car at around 10:20 p.m. Wednesday in Higashiosaka. He was still conscious when the ambulance arrived at 10:33 p.m., they said.

The rescuers asked five emergency medical centers in Higashiosaka and its vicinity by phone to accept him, but all rejected the request by saying they were busy, all their beds were occupied, or ignored the call. Nishimura was finally accepted at a hospital in Suita, Osaka Prefecture, about 15 km away at around 11:25 p.m., but died of damage to a main artery at 1:45 a.m. Thursday.

The incident is the latest in which people in urgent need of medical help have been denied emergency treatment because of a nationwide doctor shortage. In December, an 89-year-old woman also died in Osaka Prefecture after being denied emergency treatment by 30 hospitals.