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7th Rangers: Mounting hospital bills lead to stateless mum-baby murder-suicide By S Vinothaa

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Mounting hospital bills lead to stateless mum-baby murder-suicide By S Vinothaa
Tuesday, September 19, 2023
Cruelty at it's best probably shown by pendatang, "Orang Malaya"
 

Malaysiakini : On Feb 1, 2020, a teen mother paced the floor of Lahad Datu Hospital. Her five-month-old baby had been hospitalised for 11 days for a bacterial infection and her indigenous Bajau Laut family could not afford the hospital bills.

Even though they were natives of the state, they did not have documentation to prove citizenship and could not access subsidised healthcare, even in public hospitals.    On that day, the hospital bill amounted to more than RM3,000, and bill collectors were demanding payment.

Distressed, the young mother cradled her infant, freshly off the ventilator. She started pacing the hospital floor and told hospital staff she was heading to the toilet. Not long after, the mother and her baby were found dead on a grassy patch next to the building. The incident was described by the authorities as a murder-suicide.

Their tragic deaths barely made a blip on the national conscience.   Worse, the circumstances that led to their deaths repeat each time a stateless Bajau Laut person seeks medical attention at the Lahad Datu Hospital.

A news report of the incident in 2020

Fear of seeking medical treatment

Mohd Hassan Garang, 64, was the chief of Kampung Panji, where the young couple lived, before the tragedy. The young mother, her baby, and her husband had lived in a small wooden house on stilts alongside hundreds of other wooden houses similarly fashioned in their simplicity, firmly planted into the muddy seabed just off the shores of Lahad Datu town.

Hassan recalled how before she made her final decision, the teenager was threatened with police detention if she didnā€™t settle the bill. ā€œI investigated the case immediately and found they even threatened to detain her and her baby at the hospital,ā€ he said.

Village chief Mohd Hassan Garang

Hospital sources who spoke to Malaysiakini on condition of anonymity confirmed that learning she could lose custody of her child added to the motherā€™s distress.

ā€œIt was common for hospital staff to threaten patients saying: ā€˜You cannot leave the hospital if you donā€™t settle your billā€™ or ā€˜we will call the policeā€™,ā€ Hassan said.
posted by Major D Swami (Retired) @ 10:05 AM  
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