Hospital refuses to treat newborn – unless the parents pay
A story from Armenia

Parents Liza and Alex* were put in a situation any parent would dread when they took their newborn baby to hospital for medical treatment. The family had travelled to Armenia’s capital Yerevan, but on arrival at the hospital, they were informed that there was no room for them to remain with their baby during its stay. Nurses allegedly demanded money in exchange for allowing Liza to do so and even threatened to remove her from the premises if she did not pay. The family could not afford to pay any amount and had no place to stay in the capital. Alex turned to the Armenian chapter of Transparency International at the Transparency International Anti-Corruption Center (TI-AC) for help. Staff members at TI-AC immediately contacted the Ministry of Health and the hospital’s Chief of Medicine to determine if there was a reason for requesting money. Within two hours the Chief of Medicine responded. He insisted there had been a misunderstanding and instructed his staff to provide the baby’s parents with accommodation at the hospital, free of charge and without delay – as required by law. TI-AC stayed in contact with Alex and Liza throughout their stay to ensure that their baby received the necessary treatment. *Names have been changed to protect the identities of those involved. Transparency International provides free advice and legal support to victims and witnesses of corruption in almost 50 countries around the world. To date, more than 95,000 people have sought help.

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