Birth At A Price

While I was reading the maternal and child health chapter about Haiti about healthcare services and costs. The chapter pointed out that women in Haiti felt healthcare services (including those pertaining to birth) should be free of charge. Conversely, the healthcare workers had the notion that payment is important because the services would be rendered worthless (179). This was a really striking statement and I personally do not really understand it. If you provide a service for free, especially one as beneficial as healthcare or maternal care I do not see that as detracting from its value. If one thinks about the terrible rates of mortality Haiti has for health issues brought on by poverty its interesting that free services making things worth less is the mindset of health workers. These health care workers are in direct contact  with poverty and see the effects of it as well as insufficient maternal care everyday. This also speaks to a bigger issue, which relates to infrastructure. This ideal must be something that is being taught among healthcare professionals  or a conclusions drawn sparked by misconception and a break in communication between workers and mothers. Whatever it is something that needs further consideration outside of this project. I say this because this project sponsor made sure to have pre-natal services and the like provided for free, which is nice for those in Torbeck Plain but what about those living in other areas with the same fee for value system? Finding some common ground on maternal care costs and needs are essential. The progress of women being able to properly take their children to term, survive the birth, and raise the child into adulthood are dependent on things like healthcare workers and fees in rural areas.

2 thoughts on “Birth At A Price

  1. Remind us to talk about this in class – the issue of fee for service or free services….there is a lot to talk about in this.

    • I do not think health services can be completely free, but they should definitely be ‘affordable’ and not cost an arm and a leg! I think this is an interesting idea: some clinics in the US use a sliding fee schedule, which is based on an individual’s income. The “fee for service” system charges a set fee from everyone, which is usually too expensive for individuals in the lower income bracket.

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