Sharjah: An Arab woman claims a hospital in Sharjah has refused to hand over the body of her stillborn baby if she does not pay the cost of her treatment at the hospital after she suffered a miscarriage.

Zikra Al Janoudi, a 26-year-old Tunisian woman, alleged that nurses and administrators at Al Qasimi Hospital in Sharjah had told her that if she wanted to bury the foetus, she would first have to pay Dh1,700 in lieu of the hospital bills.

An official at Al Qasimi Hospital’s mortuary told Gulf News that the hospital could only take up the burial of babies after the concerned patient had cleared the hospital fees. The employee said that those who wanted to claim foetuses for burial needed to obtain a police affidavit and pay the hospital fees to have the body released.

Zikra said she was five months pregnant when she was taken to Al Qasimi Hospital’s emergency ward. “I was admitted to the hospital on March 31 and doctors kept me there for almost one week before they pronounced my baby girl dead. I was five months pregnant and they informed me that I would be treated for miscarriage,” she said.

Zikra said the baby was stillborn. “I was asked to pay Dh1,700 for the miscarriage and to get my baby buried,” she said.

Zikra said her husband is unemployed and facing cases relating to bad cheques, while she herself is unemployed. She said her husband had paid the hospital Dh200 to have her discharged.

“My baby girl was born almost 16 days ago and I want her to be buried,” she said. “I have no money to pay them, we barely survive here, if I have money I will pay the hospital in order to get my daughter buried,” she said, adding she had no choice but to leave her baby with the hospital because she could not afford to clear her dues.