18 Jan 2011

Fee for Vanuatu hospital birth increases

10:00 am on 18 January 2011

Pregnant mothers in Vanuatu who wish to give birth at Port Vila Central Hospital will now have to pay a fee of about 65 US dollars.

The Vanuatu Daily Post reports the increase came into effect at the start of the year and is a flat rate regardless of how long a mother spends in hospital.

That compares to the old rate of six dollars for each day a woman stayed in hospital after giving birth.

A mother told the newspaper the increased charge is just above what many mothers can afford, and is the equivalent of what many young mothers would need to care for their baby for a month.

She says if the increase is not reversed many pregnant women won't seek better medical facilities.