A video of an accident involving a 45-year-old woman from Massachusetts has been receiving a lot of media attention.
Despite her injuries, the woman, who has not been named, begged people not to call an ambulance for fear of the high expenses.
Over the weekend, the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority Police (MBTA) Police Department released the video, which shows the woman in distress after her leg got caught in a gap between the train and the platform
She asked fellow passengers who helped free her to refrain from calling an ambulance to take her to the hospital. “Do you know how much an ambulance costs?” she was heard saying.
A Boston Globe reporter, who witnessed the aftermath of the accident, posted on Twitter about the woman’s plea, and it quickly went viral.
Awful scene on the orange line. A woman’s leg got stuck in the gap between the train and the platform. It was twisted and bloody. Skin came off. She’s in agony and weeping. Just as upsetting she begged no one call an ambulance. “It’s $3000,” she wailed. “I can’t afford that.”
— Maria Cramer (@GlobeMCramer) June 29, 2018
The New York Times picked up on it and on Monday, released a story with the headline: “This Tweet Captures the State of Health Care in America Today.”
“In the face of a grave injury, a series of calculations follow: The clear and urgent need for medical attention is weighed against the uncertain and potentially monumental expense of even basic services, like a bandage or a ride to the hospital, and that cost, in turn, weighed against all the known expenses of living that run through any given head on any given day,” the editorial board wrote.
“This discord, between agony and arithmetic, has become America’s story, too.”
It was also reported that the woman was taken to the hospital shortly after the incident. Doctors found that while she didn’t break any bones, she did suffer a “serious laceration, exposing the bone,” which required surgery.
The cost of an ambulance transporting people within the city is between $1,200 to $1,900, according to the chief of Boston EMS, Jim Hooley.
“We just worry about taking care of people,” Hooley said. “We don’t want to cause them more stress. We just want to reassure them that nothing bad is going to happen to them because of their inability to pay.”