A 75-year old Japanese man is dead after he was refused entry at 25 area hospitals 36 times over two hours.
The unidentified man from Kuki, north of Tokyo, called an ambulance to take him to an emergency room when he began having difficulty breathing and experienced chest pains on January 6, the Japan Daily Press reported.
Paramedics attempted to take him to 25 different hospitals, but were turned away repeatedly due to bed and staff shortages.
By the time the ambulance was able to get him into a hospital, in nearby Ibaraki prefecture, it was too late: he was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
His cause of death has not been revealed.
A paramedic, speaking to the Jiji Press, said they had never experienced someone being turned away so many times on a single occasion.
Japan's healthcare system is increasingly burdened by an aging population as people live longer and the birth rate drops.