Jul 31, 2018

The ambulance is not a taxi.

The ambulance is not a taxi. photoThe ambulance is not a taxi. The fact that a poster had to be made to warn people not to overuse the ambulance system is surprising. In the states, no one would possibly even imagine calling a taxi to take you into town if you aren't nearly dying and in desperate need of getting to a hospital. I can remember as a child, my mom would break the law and speed before calling for a taxi when my brother was injured because a speeding fine would have cost less than a taxi ride. But that isn't the case in Japan. Riding in an ambulance is free. You won't be charged for calling for help. But that also means you won't be charged if you take the taxi to the doctor if you have a cold, or a toothache, or a bug bite. The poster even gives the example of calling 119, the emergency service, for hiccups that won't seise. At first, this seems like a farce, however, there are cases of elderly abusing the ambulance and hitching a ride to the hospital only to suddenly feel better and casually go shopping at the nearby supermarket. It is a trope sometimes featured in anime of the elderly taking an ambulance to their favorite spot every day. Coming from a country where ambulance fees are insanely high to a country where health insurance makes going to the doctor for a nose drip seem absurd not to, when I did get sick enough to warrant calling an ambulance, I didn’t think of it. I walked to the doctor with pneumonia and whooping cough when no one would take me to the hospital. For those Americans out there that grew up avoiding calling an ambulance at all costs like I did, it might be better to get emergency services involved more. Like the poster says, if you have sustained a major injury, have severe chest pains, sudden headaches, or if a person is lifeless, don’t hesitate to call 119. And if you happen to know a someone who is abusing the system, then maybe help them out and offer to go grocery shopping for your elderly neighbor sometimes.



American step mom with beautiful Brazilian babies. Raising them in Japan. I'm a crafter too