The Human Rights Association (IHD) Istanbul Branch Chair Gülseren Yoleri has stated that a new born baby has been kept in the hospital for four months almost as a hostage, because a refugee family could not pay the hospital bills, Mesopotamia Agency (MA) reports.
Holding a press conference alongside IHD lawyer David Armstrong and Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV) representative Ümit Efe, the IHD unfurled a banner saying: ”Refugee baby is being held hostage at the state hospital”.
The hospital authorities are refusing release a new born baby because the refugee family is unable to pay their hospital bills, Yoleri asserted, adding: “If the expenses are paid, the situation will be resolved.”
New born refugee babies will be detained inside hospitals if their parents cannot pay the hospital bills. The hospital has asked for 30,000 Turkish Lira to be paid to release the baby from hospital.
Yoleri stated that this treatment of the refugee baby began after the baby had a pre-term birth and related treatment on 21 December: the baby was thereafter separated from his family.
“As the association, we tried to meet with the Head Doctor of the Bağcılar Training and Research Hospital. He told me that: ‘It is not possible: if the treatment is over, of course, the baby will be released'” Yoleri said. “But when the refugee family went to the hospital again, and they were directed to the account manager, they refused to release the baby to his family.”
Yoleri stated that their efforts to reach the hospital administration to resolve the matter has remained inconclusive since then.
“A baby is separated from his mother for four months and has been held hostage in the hospital because the hospital bills have not been paid”, Yoleri observed. “The state should not discriminate against people in health services and should fulfil its responsibility. The baby is not safe without his parents. We call upon everyone to raise their voice for the refugee family to be able to take their baby from the hospital.”