Hyderabad: The Maternity Hospital at Petlaburj is so poorly administered that patients are forced to pay money even to get a room cleaned. Even delivering a baby has its price.
Syeda Ayesha, a new mother, said: “If the ward boys ask us for a tip we will be happy to give it, but it’s a kind of organised mafia of all these ward boys and nurses who are openly extracting money from new mothers. After I delivered a boy on Monday, the ward boy demanded Rs 2,000! When I asked him the reason, he bluntly replied that if a boy is born we charge Rs 2,000 and for girls it’s Rs 1,000.”
She added, “I was astonished with his rude behaviour because when I came here, neither the nurse nor the ward boy behaved this way. But after delivery, they are behaving this way and it’s totally unworthy as most of the women who get admitted to this hospital are poor; how can they afford this amount?"
Ms Ramalaxmi, a resident of Goshamahal, was accompanying her sister. “The room to which my sister was admitted was severely unhygienic. The nurse told us to contact the ward boy, who in turn demanded Rs 200 to clean the room. Why do we have to pay for even getting the room cleaned?” she asked.
She says the nurses and ward boys behave very badly. “They are always abusing the new mothers and their attendants.”
When we contacted the superintendent of the hospital, she claimed ignorance. “As far as I know there is no such thing happening here. But we will enquire about it and take action against those who are trying to extract illegal money from the patients," she said.
Another hospital official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said: “The ward boys demand money mainly because their salaries are low. Earlier, new mothers would give a tip out of happiness. That has become a habit and the boys are too demanding.”