Hospital Charges Women $5 for Every Scream in Labor

Report cites practice as evidence of corruption in Zimbabwe
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 11, 2013 5:10 PM CDT
Hospital Charges Women $5 for Every Scream in Labor
   (AP Photo/Bureau of Engraving and Printing)

The Washington Post has spotted an almost too-hard-to-believe nugget from an international report on corruption: A hospital in Zimbabwe charges women $5 for every time they scream during labor. In theory, it's to curb "false alarms," but it's really about "separating mothers from their money," writes Max Fisher.

Zimbabwean hospitals also typically charge a $50 delivery fee, which may not sound like much until you realize it amounts to a third of an average citizen's yearly income, says Transparency International. That helps explain why so many women opt to give birth at home, and why the UN estimates that eight Zimbabwean women die each day in childbirth. (Flagged by Slate, which has more. The overall report also found that 1 in 4 humans paid a bribe last year.)

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