Hospital Seizes Body Of Stillborn Over Mother’s Hospital Bills

Al Qasimi Hospital’

A 26-year-old Tunisian woman claims a hospital in Sharjah, an emirate of the United Arab Emirate, UAE, has refused to hand over the body of her stillborn baby until she pays the cost of her treatment at the hospital after she suffered a miscarriage.

Zikra Al Janoudi alleged that nurses and administrators at Al Qasimi Hospital in Sharjah had told her that if she wanted to bury the foetus, she would first have to pay Dh1,700 (about N73,500) hospital bills.

According to an official at Al Qasimi Hospital’s mortuary, the hospital could only take up the burial of babies after the concerned patient had cleared the hospital bills. The employee said that those who wanted to claim foetuses for burial needed to obtain a police affidavit and clear the hospital bills to have the body released.

Zikra said she was five months pregnant when she was taken to Al Qasimi Hospital’s emergency ward. “I was admitted to the hospital on March 31 and doctors kept me there for almost one week before they pronounced my baby girl dead. I was five months pregnant and they informed me that I would be treated for miscarriage,” she said.

“I was asked to pay Dh1,700 for the miscarriage and to get my baby buried,” she said.

Zikra said her husband is unemployed and facing cases relating to bad cheques, while she herself is unemployed. She said her husband had paid the hospital Dh200 (about N8,600) to have her discharged.

“My baby girl was born almost 16 days ago and I want her to be buried,” she said. “I have no money to pay them, we barely survive here, if I have money I will pay the hospital in order to get my daughter buried,” she said, adding she had no choice but to leave her baby with the hospital as she could not afford to clear her dues.

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