Holding Babies Hostage in Indonesia


For most us, the idea of a woman having a child without any kind of health insurance to cover the costs is irresponsible. But it certainly is not uncommon and it isn’t something for which mother or child should be made to suffer. And certainly the notion of keeping a mother from her newborn baby until she can pay the bill is one which we could never consider. Well, in Indonesia they don’t feel the same way about that last sentiment. Unfortunately, Indonesia does not yet have universal healthcare for pregnant women. So in order to safely give birth, the majority of Indonesian women rely on private clinics, hospitals and midwives to see them through births and deliver healthy babies. However, problems arise if new mothers and their relatives do not have the money to pay these clinics, hospitals or midwives the fees incurred while bringing their children into the world. As you will read at the link, in at least one case this has meant a new mother of twins had one of her identical children held hostage in lieu of payment of the birthing bill. Is this a huge problem, something that happens every day? No. In 2010, only 36 cases of baby hostages were reported to the Indonesian National Commission for Child Protection. But it is cause for concern, and something to keep in mind the next time you find yourself griping about your HMO (BBC News Asia-Pacific – Indonesian Babies Held Hostage)


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