Inflated medical bill: maid awaits court ruling to go home

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Dubai, Oct 31 (UNI) A Sri Lankan maid, who has a pending 100,000 dirham medical bill, is awaiting a court verdict paving the way for her to return home.

Regina Joseph Douglas (34) was admitted to Kuwaiti Hospital in Sharjah since she became paraplegic after meeting with a road accident on July 14, 2005.

The Ministry of Health filed suit in the Sharjah Court of First Instance in September 2006 against her, demanding payment.

Marian Khalfan bin Dakhin, director of public relations at the Kuwaiti Hospital, said Regina was referred to the hospital after undergoing emergency surgery at the Al Qasimi Hospital. ''She has been offered full medical care ever since,'' he was quoted by Khaleej Times as saying.

Regina slipped into a coma after suffering debilitating injuries in the accident. Her condition stabilised after four days when she underwent brain surgery. However, she cannot move her legs and lower body.

According to the latest medical report, Regina is now doing fine and need only physiotherapy and can travel to her country though she uses a wheelchair for her movement.

Mr Bin Dakhin said Regina's identification papers show she has no relatives in the UAE and her sponsor had lodged a absconding complaint against her.

Regina said the hospital had approached the Sri Lankan Consulate in Dubai only one month after she was admitted to the hospital, requesting it to finalise her travel papers. But the papers were still not ready.

Sri Lankan Consul-General in Dubai Wasantha Senanayake said the woman had not been able to speak for months. Because of this, the Consulate could not locate her family.

Regina said she had to visit the Sharjah court thrice in a special ambulance since the suit was filed.

The Consul General said they would request the hospital authorities to reduce the bill on humanitarian grounds.

UNI

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