My friend, Lil, is

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My friend, Lil, is in the hospital with appendicitis. I went to see her yesterday. What an eye-opener.

Patients are required to supply their own towels, drinking water, and even tissues. There are no complimentary hospital gowns to wear while your friends bring you your proper pjs; Lil had to trundle herself and her IV drip down to the shop in the 2nd floor to buy a Japanese robe to wear.

Although she was diagnosed with appendicitis on Thursday (after being admitted on Tuesday), her operation isn't scheduled until Monday. If she were in America, she would already be home--the average length of stay for an appendectomy in the US is 3 days. I suspect that Japan's national medical insurance system rewards hospitals with more money for longer stays.

Good for business; bad for patients.

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