Pakistani couple incurs SR128,000 hospital bill in delivery of baby girl

SEEKING HELP: Mohammed Ishaq with his family. (AN photo)

A poor Pakistani farm worker in Taif is desperately trying to pay the mounting hospital bills which he incurred after his wife gave birth to a premature baby girl. He cannot take his baby home until he pays the money in full.

Mohammed Ishaq, a 26-year-old Pakistani, works as agriculture farm worker cum driver in Taif. His wife, Hasina Nader Mohammed had a premature delivery on Feb. 10 of this year giving birth to a baby girl weighing 1 kg and suffering from respiratory distress syndrome. Ishaq was billed a total of SR127,680 according to the medical records.

The Pakistani couple was unable to bear the huge cost as both are not covered by health insurance.

The baby was placed in an incubator at the hospital for 22 days where she was treated with antifungal medication and supplied oxygen. She also spent 43 days in the ICU for respiratory treatment and given artificial ventilation.

“The hospital is demanding the payment of a sum of SR127,680 as their service charges before they agree to discharge my daughter,” Ishaq said.

He said that he worked on a farm and drove his sponsor’s vehicle. “My wages are not sufficient to pay such a large amount of money,” he said adding that he wouldn’t be able to raise this amount even he worked for another ten years in the Kingdom.

When asked about the medical insurance cover, he replied, “Domestic employees such as house drivers, maids and farm workers are not covered in the mandatory medical insurance cover.”

Ishaq said that he knew some Pakistani workers in Taif but that they were of the same social status as himself, and were unable to raise the sum. “My wife and I are grief stricken and at a loss as to where to go and whom to ask for help,” he said sorrowfully.

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