• 06:39
  • Sunday ,27 September 2009
العربية

Left to die

By-The Egyptian Gazette

Opinion

23:09

Saturday ,26 September 2009

Left to die

For a long time now, we have been hearing complaints about the inhuman treatment poor patients, even emergency cases, receive at certain private and investment hospitals.

It is quite understandable that these hospitals should insist on being given a downpayment before admitting a patient. However, it is unacceptable for emergency cases, for example people badly injured in road accidents, to be refused admittance, just because they are not accompanied by a relative who can pay for the treatment of the injured party, who might be left to bleed to death on the steps of these hospitals. These supermarket-like hospitals make the excuse that the health insurance umbrella doesn't cover the majority of citizens in Egypt. These hospitals, which have never claimed to be charitable institutions, have every right to be concerned about being paid for the services they offer to patients.But it is still unacceptable to see these institutions remove a newborn baby from a life-support machine because his father can't afford the cost. According to the local press, physicians and the administration at a private hospital in the Nile Delta city of Tanta apparently committed a crime by letting this baby, who was suffering from respiratory problems, die. The hospital insisted on being paid in advance, but the boy's father couldn't afford it. The father, a young farmer from Tanta, went to look for a cheaper hospital for his baby. When he returned to the first hospital, the baby was dead and the management refused to release his body for burial until the father had paid LE2,000!Prosecutors are looking into this case. If the Minister of Health severely punished this private hospital and brought those responsible to justice, it would serve as a great deterrent, encouraging hospitals to respect the lives of everyone, even the poorest people.