The hospital staff told the woman that unless they were paid a thousand, they would not admit her
A young woman named Roobina was forced to deliver her baby on a pavement today in Bhopal because she was not able to pay the Rs 1,000 bribe allegedly demanded at a government hospital. The baby boy died minutes after being born at 10 am.
Roobina was accompanied by her husband, Ajmer Khan, when she went to the hospital this morning after going into labour. But staff there said that they wanted a thousand rupees to admit her. Admission and care is meant to be free at the government-run hospital.
Ajmer is a daily wage-earner and the family could not afford the bribe. His son was born on the pavement outside the hospital. "As we did not have the money, my wife delivered the baby on the foot path and the baby died. This has happened to us for the second time. We lost our first baby two years ago the same way at the same hospital," said Ajmer.
After the baby died, family members had a heated argument with the hospital staff. The police was summoned to intervene.
The police says a post-mortem will help determine its course of action against the hospital, whose management has denied allegations of negligence.
"When I reached the ward, the staff told me to come after half an hour as the ward was being mopped. The pain was not that intense then. This is all I remember," says Roobina.
She claims she does not remember the hospital staff asking for a bribe, as she was unconscious. "Since morning I have not met my husband, as I am in this ward. My first child was delivered in this hospital two years ago inside the operation theatre but he had a blood pressure problem, and died a few hours after birth," she says.
Dr Madhuri Chandra of Sultania Zanana Hospital said," Its wrong for them to say not allowed inside. Yesterday, 59 people were admitted here, so why would he have had a problem admitting the 60th patient? Roobina has told us that the ward was being mopped, and as she could not tolerate the smell, she went out as her pain was not intense."
When we saw the woman delivering in the garden, we could not do much after her delivery. Her husband should not make vague allegations. During the delivery, at some point, I reached with the staff. We never asked for any money. Now that the matter is with the police we will also probe it internally," Dr Chandra said.