Dh2 million hospital bill waived for maid working in UAE

Leaving behind a bill of Dh2 million, a 27-year-old Ethiopian maid who had fallen into a coma soon after her arrival in the UAE was flown back to her home country by the hospital, where she spent over seven months as a patient.

Najat Al Nurye was flown back on March 9 by a team of doctors from International Modern Hospital (IMH) to Ethiopia, to recuperate and be cared for by her family, said the senior management in a Press conference on Tuesday.

Najat, however, leaves a bill of Dh2 million which the hospital – part of Sunrise Group of Hospitals – is waiving.

“We have many such cases and, on an average, we have had to pay between Dh300,000 to 500,000, on four to five such cases each month,” said Anshul Nanda, the group’s finance director.

Most such cases that the hospital sees are either emergency, abuse cases, or people who are too inebriated to pay for themselves. “Even though insurance companies are helpful, sometimes the card holders network doesn’t cover our hospital, so in such cases it is difficult to recover the money,” he said.

Dr Kishan Pakkal, CEO of the hospital, said: “We want people to know there is a hospital that does not ask questions or does not turn you away if you are unable to pay.”

He said that in Najat’s case, this could easily have been done. “When we got a call from Dubai Ambulance saying there is a patient who is near to death due to suspected poisoning, we could have said we don’t have the facilities, but we did not do this. Nor do we do it for any emergency case. Rhis is why we have saved many lives,” he said.

Najat arrived perfectly healthy, in the UAE on July 21, 2017, to work as a domestic help, but fell unconscious and almost died just two days after her arrival. It was never established what caused her condition, since no traces of poison were found in her blood. She remained intubated in the hospital’s ICU for over seven months until the doctors thought that there was nothing more they could do medically to improve her condition.

“She had started responding and showing emotions so we thought it best to let her recover amongst her family,” said Dr Saad Abbas El Abbasy, the intensivist who handled Najat’s case.

Flying her back was also a challenge since Najat was on a ventilator. With help from Ethiopian Airlines, and considering the complications due to air pressure, she was flown along with a team and housed at a local hospital.

Dr Saad also said that there were slight chances of improvement in the long run, as her rehabilitation continues in her home country.