Whistleblowing International and the European Center for the Rights of Whistleblowers said Friday that the prosecutors of the Zenica-Doboj Canton have launched an investigation into cases of obstetric violence and corruption in maternity hospitals. This news is particularly important in the context of the recent Report of the European Commission, where the prohibition of obstetric violence and the improvement of conditions in maternity hospitals are mentioned as some of the conditions for achieving EU membership. Pročitaj više
In response to evidence of widespread bribery and abuse in maternity hospitals, prosecutors in the Zenica-Doboj Canton are investigating the abuse of mothers and pregnant women in hospitals, Whistleblowing International and the European Center for Whistleblower Rights have learned. This evidence includes videos and first-hand accounts of dozens of women who were left screaming in agony during childbirth. Doctors refused to provide them with health care unless they paid a bribe.
Some women said they were abused and mistreated despite paying bribes. The evidence was collected by the Baby Steps Association, a non-profit organization from Sarajevo that works to protect the rights of parents and children. Corruption, abuse and mistreatment in maternity hospitals are widely known problems in Bosnia and Herzegovina that hospitals have allowed, and state officials have ignored for decades.
Half of the women interviewed by the Baby Steps Association said they had given money or a gift before or after giving birth. One-third of the women said it took place in secret, allowing doctors and nurses to deny that corruption had taken place. The average bribe is 140 KM. This means that around two million Bosnian marks (or some €1 mil) go into the pockets of doctors and medical staff annually for bribes.