Baby needs Dh6,000 daily to stay alive

Debt-striken parents face year of uncertainty even as they plead for help

  • Brave Parents: Catalin Tataruseanu with wife Cosmina, 27, parents of Maria, right, who was born on October 10 Image Credit: XPRESS/Pankaj Sharma
  • Image Credit: Supplied photo

DUBAI Debt-laden parents of a sick baby girl stuck in a hospital ICU since her birth in October due to congenital problems say the mounting bills are way beyond their capacity to pay.

The medical bills – about Dh6,000 per day since October 10 last year– are making it extremely tough for the parents of Maria to make ends meet. Both of Maria’s parents work as sales staff at a mall, with each earning Dh5,550 a month.

“We’re happy that we had Maria, who came to us after two years of marriage,” said the father, Catalin Tataruseanu, 30, from Romania. “We don’t know how many years it will take to pay off her hospital bill … it might take a lifetime. We will appreciate any help we can get.”

When Maria was born at 2.88kg on October 10 at the privately-owned Mediclinic Welcare Hospital, doctors detected a rare breathing condition (her immature trachea obstructs the airway).

Her mother, Cosmina Folosea, 27, was wheeled into the delivery room at 36 weeks, and Maria was born following a C-section procedure. The mother had no maternity insurance. Doctors hooked up Maria to a breathing machine the day she was delivered and a tube is still being used to feed her.

Tataruseanu said he had maxed out his credit cards and borrowed from family and friends to pay initial hospital bills of Dh132,456, but that only covered the period from October 10 to 31.

Since then, medical bills kept piling up. Subsequent bills from November 2 to December 16 reached Dh176,000.

“This is beyond our ability to pay,” said Tataruseanu.

In the last 60 days Maria has been home for only three days – and those days were partly spent attached to a home oxygen and saturation monitor.

Doctors said the resolution of her health problems could take six months to one year.

In a statement, hospital director Sakkie van der Vyver said: “Due to the specialist nature of the treatment and the high quality of medical equipment involved, treatment costs are high, and we appreciate the difficulties the Tataruseanus face in covering these costs without adequate medical insurance protection.

“Our main concern is the health of the baby, and we’re doing our best to assist the family with their financial situation by offering a 15 per cent discount on the total cost of treatment as well as the opportunity to pay the final bill in instalments.”

Maria’s mother said the treatment wouldn’t cost them as much if they moved her to their home city Brasov, where they said hospitalisation for children under 14 is free. But that would mean moving the child using a private jet fitted with medical equipment – and given that the Dubai bills are settled first.


If you wish to help the family, write to


Your comment

  • Editor, XPRESS

    Jan 3, 2013 11:59

    Editor's note: Thank you for your help. You can directly contact CatalinTataruseanu, father of baby Maria, at 056-113 6223.

  • Mohamed

    Jan 3, 2013 11:54

    Sometimes I think having no cure for something is better than being able to provide the cure at such a high price that people can't afford.It's part of the whole healthcare system, not in the UAE alone, but globally. The hospital's management say the best they can do is a 15 per cent discount? That is almost ridiculous, and they should be ashamed!The least they can do besides giving that lame discount is create a fund for that family in distress. I wish XPRESS or anyone who knows the parents post the contact details of the parents or any known channel where we can donate. Might not be much, but I'm assuming anything would be helpfulin that kind of situation.

  • ABC

    Jan 3, 2013 10:18

    Why can't Dubai Hospitals offer free treatment? We need so many things -- healthcard, insurance etc, etc. However, I really don't have a money-making tree....

  • S Mehta

    Jan 3, 2013 9:27

    While the educated public would surely wish to pitch in with financial assistance, the amounts involved are staggering and my heart goes out to the couple. In my humble opinion, this is a rare and genuine case thatrequires higher authorities to step in. It's not fair to test the public's morals and expect them to shell out close to Dh200,000, which is just enough to cover the present bills, especially when the treatment is ongoing and might very well end up in the half million range or so. Willthe public please use their contacts to bring this situation to the attention of a Government charity?

  • Sam

    Jan 3, 2013 9:25

    Being the number 1 newspaper in the UAE, I'm sureif each and every reader of Gukf News in the UAE donated just Dh5 to Dh10 for the cause, we might help pay off the debt and save that poor innocent's life. The money would be sufficient to pay off her future bills until her immune system develops and she can be then taken off theventilator to lead a normal life.

  • samer

    Jan 3, 2013 9:01

    I think the hospital should subsidise this huge bill rather than give only 15 per cent discount.The ethics of the medical field should be followedhere by giving priority to the patient's life rather than making profits.

  • prabeer

    Jan 3, 2013 8:58

    I'm a reader of this article and I plead to the healthcare authorities formthe bottom of my heart that please offer the entire treatment free ofcost, as the poor parents can't afford due to financial reasons. Thebaby by all means deserves to survive, and I believe the healthauthorities can do this. I raise my concern for this little one who hasnot even realised her parents love for her as they are desparate to keepher alive. Regards Prabeer Mozumdar

  • Mohamed Farzook

    Jan 3, 2013 8:45

    May God bless the child and the parents. It's very sad to know thesituation of the child who is suffering from breathing problem. Thereare many wealthy people in this country, if you are reading this news,kindly please try to help this child and the family by contributing somemoney. We all spend lots of money on our leisure. Just spendsomething from your pocket thinking that you had spend this for your ownfamily or friends. Please try to put yourself in this situation, whoknows, what is going to happen tomorrow with us. Fear the Almighty.Let us also pray together for the child. May God bless the child so that sherecovers soon from this illness. May God bless the child with a healthylife ahead. Ameen

  • syed

    Jan 3, 2013 5:53

    Money isn't everything in this world. Fifteen per cent discountis almost like giving no discount at all. Let the hospital pay 15 per cent and helpsave the kid's life. Or send the kid in a private jet. There are hundreds ofprivate jets. Else raise a committee where we all cancontribute and help the child. I am sure there are millions like us whowould love to help. Even we we pay Dh10 each it would round up to Dh10million in less than a week.

  • Abdul Hamid

    Jan 3, 2013 2:22

    May God bless this innocent baby. Hope the wealthy people out there will extend their help to save her life.

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Latest Comment

Editor's note: Thank you for your help. You can directly contact CatalinTataruseanu, father of baby Maria, at 056-113 6223.

Editor, XPRESS

3 January 2013 12:00jump to comments