January 25, 2007

BOO! Health clinic keeps baby until parents pay

Filed under: Uncategorized — girlyswot @ 5:12 pm

As if it’s not crap enough living in poverty, now they’re withholding children if parents can’t pay the clinic fee. That’s what’s happened this week in Indonesia where a clinic is keeping a newborn until the parents can pay the fee for the baby’s delivery. The family have already paid a third of the fee, after borrowing from friends, but don’t know where they’ll get the rest. Apparently the parents agreed to the fee, but frankly if faced with the choice of giving birth on my own or giving birth in a clinic with skilled professionals taking care of me, I’d probably agree to that deal too. Childbirth can be a dangerous business.

To get a bit of context, 72% of births in Indonesia are attended by a skilled health professional which is OK stats for a developing country, but what’s more telling is that out of the poorest 20% of people in the country, only 21% of women are helped out by a skilled health worker. Those odds suck. When combined with corruption of health services, it sucks even more. So much so, that they’ll keep your kids and there won’t be anything you can do about it.

That’s the way corruption works in many countries. It’s not just about fatcat leaders siphoning off billions for their luxury lifestyles, although Indonesia does that the dubious glory of having the most corrupt leader of all time in Suharto, who ruled from 67-98. It’s the day-to-day graft like the story above that is what perceived corruption is all about. Indonesia 130 out of 163 in the corruption perception index.

So the maths is simple. poverty + corruption = crap life.


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