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Baby Evelyn with her father. Image Credit: Sajila Saseendran/Gulf News

Dubai: Twins Ashlyn Pearl and Evelyn Joy Rehan were born premature at 26 weeks on January 27 after their mother Anita Islam Imdad suffered severe pre-eclampsia.

They had to be moved from Thumbay Hospital in Ajman to Al Jalila Children’s Specialty Hospital in Dubai, but despite receiving more expert special care, on March 19, Ashlyn passed away.

Evelyn has continued her fight, but now Anita and her husband Rehan Pervaiz are weighed down not just with grief and concern, but also mounting hospital bills. The couple now owes more than Dh1.35 million in bills.

“Ashlyn’s bill was Dh570,970 and Evelyn’s bill as of Sunday was Dh779,590,” said Anita. “Evelyn’s is still ongoing as she is still admitted. We have no idea how we will be able to settle it,” added the Pakistani national.

Dh1.35million

and counting for Anita and Rehan

“Unfortunately, my insurance card limit exceeded from the first hospital and the insurance company rejected the twins’ admission to Al Jalila. The medical administrator was kind enough to admit the babies due to it being an emergency, but now, we are unable to settle the bills.”

Together, the couple earn Dh12,400 per month. When they inquired about a new insurance policy, they found out that there was a six-month window to get coverage for newborns.

“Everywhere we were stuck. I couldn’t get a loan as I had not completed my probation,” said Anita, who started a new job in October. “And my husband already has a loan and it is getting deducted from his salary. We strongly feel that there should be some mechanism to help people.”

Yet another case

Nyssa Dua was also born premature at 25 weeks on November 5. “She has a congenital lung disorder, which doctors say is one of the most severe they have seen,” said Nyssa’s mother Navneet. “They cannot say how long she will need to stay in hospital.

When insurance coverage for Nyssa under Navneet’s policy ended, she was moved from Mediclinic Welcare Hospital, where she was born, to Zulekha Hospital.

“Still we had to a pay Dh15,000 and give another post-dated cheque for Dh68,000. We shifted to Zulekha because we thought of at least getting the 25 per cent discount they have advertised for self-payments.”

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Baby Nyssa. Image Credit: Supplied

Though Navneet’s husband Jagjot Singh Dua earns a salary of Dh31,000, she said the family was worried about the increasing requirements for Nyssa, who had to undergo major surgery at Sheikh Khalifa Medical City in Abu Dhabi on February 28.

“With an average medical expense of Dh3,300 per day for my daughter, that too without any major medical intervention, our monthly savings of Dh10,000 are only good enough to last for just three to four days of her treatment in a month.

“We still have an unpaid bill of approximately Dh186,000 as of April 28 (Dh68,000 in Welcare and Dh117,832 in Zulekha) and because of her medical condition her stay in hospital is still indefinite.”

When the parents tried to take a new medical insurance for the baby, she said they received quotation from just one insurance company which was ready to give coverage to the child without waiting for six months.

DHA responds

“In light of the Procedural Directive No 2 of 2019, newborns will have no gap in getting health insurance after the initial 30 days after birth or after the annual limit of the mother’s policy is utilised.

The DHA’s Dubai Health Insurance Corporation (DHIC) will directly look into these two existing cases.

Furthermore, we would like to highlight that community members who have grievances can contact the DHIC directly on isahd@dha.gov.ae or through the iPROMeS (Insurance Partner Relation Management e System) complaint management system by logging on to the http://www.isahd.ae website.