Thursday, June 03, 2004

Zimbabwe: hospital detains 28 newborns & moms until bills are paid

I realize the hospitals are strapped for cash but ...
Harare Central Hospital is refusing to allow 28 mothers and their newly-born babies to leave the institution until millions of dollars are paid for in maternity fees.

The hospital says it recovers 87 percent of the fees through detaining mothers and babies but almost nothing under an older instalment plan

...Some women in the ward said they were not allowed to wear their own clothes until payments had been made.

"They think we might sneak out of the hospital as soon as we put on our clothes," one woman said.

... [Hospital superintendent Chris Tapfumaneyi] He said it was strange that a man could make a woman pregnant and see the pregnancy developing for nine months and not make any preparations.

... He [Tapfumaneyi] said the hospital has so far failed to recover over $2 billion from mothers who were discharged after they promised to pay in instalments.
The story seems to have embarassed somebody (in government?)... several of the women have since been allowed to leave.