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Mother is told to pay hospital bill first to be able to register new born

Josephine Jacobs recently gave birth to a baby in Dangriga.  Coupled with her joy is the stress she is undergoing as she is unable to register her child’s birth.  Jacobs contacted our news centre today and explained the troubles she is having at the Vital Statistics office at the Southern Regional Hospital in Dangriga Town.  She told us that the Vital Statistics officer has refused to take her information to start the registration process.

Josephine Jacobs, Complainant: “So she told me that you have to go pay your bill first so I told her how we normally register our baby and when we get the registration copy of the birth certificate we carry it to social and we get the money and I then I go pay my bill and I told her that “I don’t like to have bills like that” and then she told me no that I have to find the money first. That I have to pay my bills and then register my baby and my baby has a month now that we can’t find that money to register the baby like that and every little money counts for us because this is my fifth child and we can’t just haul out the money like that every time to pay. That is why he pays his Social so he could get his money from his Social and pay the bill and that is what I explained to her. That is what we always do so I don’t know why it was difficult for us to register our baby this time. Everybody said so even the person that gave us the bill told us that she is not supposed to not want to register our baby. She is supposed to register the baby because that is my bill. The nurse that tended to me when I was pregnant, when I was going to the clinic. She told me to register my baby. She wanted to check about it as well that I am supposed to register my baby. That has never been a problem at this Hospital and the people who gave me the bill  told me that I am supposed to register my baby too. They said that is my bill and I can register my baby still yet and that the baby has nothing to do with that. A lot of people have that problem. The lady that is beside me said that she feels bad. It was about three ladies that were there because they don’t where to get the money and they said that they told them the same thing how they had to pay the bill so they had to go home back because they don’t have the money to pay the bill.”

We made several calls to the Vital Statistics Unit but our calls went unanswered. We also contacted the vital statistics office at the Southern Regional Hospital shortly after four o’clock but were informed that the office was closed. We will keep following this story.