Wed, Oct 19, 2016 - Page 3 News List

NTUH doctor waives baby delivery charges

HOSPITAL FACES COSTS:Shih Jin-chung said that treatments for ‘placenta accreta’ could cost up to NT$170,000, but because the patient was poor, there was no charge

By Lee I-chia  /  Staff reporter

A medical team at National Taiwan University Hospital (NTUH) performed surgery on a woman with a serious medical condition to deliver her baby, an obstetrician said, adding that the woman was not charged for the procedure, because she could not afford it.

Shih Jin-chung (施景中) on Monday said on Facebook that his team helped the woman give birth safely.

The post had more than 260,000 “likes” and was shared more than 20,000 times as of 6pm yesterday.

Shih said in the post that ultrasound scans showed the patient had placenta accreta, a life-threatening condition that poses a major risk of severe vaginal bleeding after delivery.

The surgical procedure for the condition includes a synthetic hemostatic agent that costs about NT$20,000, he said, adding that if disseminated intravascular coagulation, or the formation of blood clots in small blood vessels, occurs another type of hemostatic agent, which costs about NT$150,000, would also be needed.

“We are a low-income household with no labor insurance and we only pay the national pension,” Shih quoted the woman as saying after he explained the potential cost of the surgery and asked if she had insurance.

“I vowed to help pregnant women who go through postpartum hemorrhage. We especially need to help them if they have no money,” Shih wrote.

The patient only lost about 500ml of blood, less than the average blood loss during a caesarean section, Shih said.

After the surgery, the woman’s husband gave me a hongbao (red envelope), Shih said, adding that he refused to accept it.

“We do not need this at the hospital and I earn more than you do,” he said.

Shih said that he wanted the couple to “feel assured that doctors do not help people to earn money.”

“Although the surgery was done voluntarily, most of the costs cannot be covered by the National Health Insurance, and would have to be paid for by the hospital. I believe our beloved dean will support our decision, because it is good to save people,” he wrote.

Shih’s post received more than 10,000 replies, with people saying: “I was moved to tears”; “A benevolent mind and heart”; and: “Thank you everyone who helped the woman, I feel that there is still love in the world.”

This story has been viewed 3839 times.

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