Indonesian girl dies 'for want of money'

Al Jazeera English

by Al Jazeera English

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Indonesia's health ministry has urged all hospitals to treat poor patients in an emergency, even if they cannot afford the treatment.

The government action comes two weeks after a 10-month-old girl died in a hospital, and her parents say she was not treated because they were unable to pay in advance.

However, the hospital management says that staff continued treating the baby even as they kept asking the parents for money.

Indonesia has a medical insurance system for poor people, but many people are not registered and the records are outdated. So, it is standard hospital procedure to ask patients to pay upfront.

Al Jazeera's Step Vaessen reports from West Java.