Menu

News

Morocco : Covid-positive patients «bled dry» by some private clinics

Faced with the saturation of public health services in Morocco, private clinics welcome patients affected by Covid-19. But the care provided is often marred by irregularities : between the requirement of guarantee checks and the delays in notifying the families of deceased patients, with overall invoices that sometimes exceed 90,000 Dhs.

DR
Estimated read time: 4'

Mohamed, 52, contracted the new coronavirus, as did his elderly mother. A Moroccan living in Italy, he tested positive in Morocco quite early on, thanks to a lung scan that he decided to perform as a precautionary measure. «Being already diabetic, I decided to undergo this test following a cough. The radiologists confirmed to me that I had just been infected, which allowed me to start treatment immediately thereafter», he told Yabiladi, from his home where he is now recovering with his convalescing mother.

But Mohamed's journey to seek treatment was no easy task. It all started in Casablanca, where he went with his mother to the Al Maghrib clinic, where his bank account began to bleed.

Payment by check requested en masse

«To be admitted, I had to make a down payment of 50,000 Dhs for myself alone and nearly 64,000 Dhs more for my mother. The care services are billed subsequently, knowing that we spent 10 to 11 days in the clinic», he told Yabiladi.

Mohamed explained that he felt «completely abandoned» while at the health facility, especially after the resuscitator who was following his case would have contracted Covid-19 in turn. «Since that day, no doctor had come to see us, only nurses came to perform the necessary injections», he lamented. He explained that he was «put on oxygen 24 hours a day, whereas this was only necessary at the beginning and it was even dangerous to remain subjected to it, if the breathing difficulties disappeared», according to him. 

Mohamed's hardship continued until the day of his departure, as the clinic would have refused to provide him with the treatment bills necessary to his social security reimbursement request. «It was only after the intervention of another patient, who had come to pay previous fees, that I was finally able to obtain them», he stressed, deploring that «the prices are not subjected to any regulation».

Regarding the conditions and costs of healthcare for patients with Covid-19, the Al Maghrib clinic only declared to Yabiladi that «the Covid service is full at the moment» and that the facility had «no information to provide».

After this ordeal, Mohamed believes he was «bled dry». He simply indicated that he was «entrusting [himself] to God, who will know how to best do justice». «I prefer to focus on my health and that of my mother because that is what matters most to me right now», he said.

A patient with Covid-19 who died in opaque circumstances

Hind, the niece of a Moroccan patient living in France, told Yabiladi that she saw her aunt die at the Amal Rajae clinic in Rabat. The healthcare center would have declared her deceased in a manner that was «cold and in front of everyone, in the hall of the establishment». All in all, the relatives of her late aunt would have had to pay 84,000 Dhs, albeit including «a small discount obtained through the intervention of acquaintances». «We realized that it was a clinic that everyone was complaining about, including the surrounding residents», Sakina, the deceased's daughter, explained.

«On Sunday, the day she died, we were told her condition was improving, then at 6:00 pm she was not well, before staff confirmed her death. However, that very morning we heard a doctor say that he had 'two leavers' that day and we recovered, in addition to the remains of a second patient, my mother’s body at the end of the day».

Sakina

Relatives also question the diagnosis and the lack of information provided. «We were told that she was having a pulmonary embolism, which is impossible with anti-coagulants, according to her attending physician in France. We were then told that she had suffered cardiac arrest», said the aggrieved daughter. «Even in the obituary, no mention of Covid-19 appears», Hind, the niece claimed.

«There is only the name, the date of birth and the date of passing. We therefore thought that death occurred following a cardiac arrest. It is actually the document I delivered to the funeral service that mentioned the presence of the virus, and that was confirmed to us by a doctor when we were thinking about burying her in her hometown».

Hind

«I was alone doing all the paperwork for my aunt, from the required scanner, the ambulance services, the payment of fees and the follow-up, then the procedures following her death, while I had myself tested positive for Covid-19 and I was confined in my home in Temara. When I could not find transportation means or get travel permits in time, I would walk 10 kilometers under the blazing sun to get to the clinic», Hind told Yabiladi.

Hind would have had to pay checks to the clinic, although the patient «had international insurance with full coverage». According to the deceased’s niece, «the staff didn't want to know anything and said they had nothing to do with insurance, and that to get the bills, you had to pay straightaway».

Forced to pay for her aunt’s healthcare, she also deplored that «the prices practiced do not obey any pricing scheme established by the regulator». «At its own discretion, this clinic requires a down payment of 47,000 Dhs to attend the patients, others require 37,000 Dhs, some require 50,000 Dhs or even 60,000 Dhs, depending on the patient's state of health», she said. Contacted by Yabiladi, the Amal Rajae clinic in Rabat confirmed that the sum of 47,000 Dhs was required to provide healthcare to patients afflicted with the novel coronavirus.

A trauma for families

«The sum is to pay for a package for the patient’s first week of hospitalization. It can be reviewed depending on the evolution of their state of health», the establishment explained. As for the granting of death notifications, the clinic’s representatives avoided the question : «in these circumstances, we try to make it easier for the relatives of the deceased». 

Yet according to Hind, some care in the clinic is also provided without informing the families. «The medical staff, for example, did not tell us beforehand that my aunt was going to be put on respiratory assistance. This made me question the circumstances of her undeclared death, especially since we were not authorized to talk to her but only to see her from afar».

«We had just organized a funeral for my uncle (brother of the deceased), and my aunt came from France for it. Now we have buried her too. Her last wishes were that she rest near her brother, but as she was a Covid patient, we had to bury her in Rabat».

Hind

The healthcare experience revealed a traumatic one for the niece of the deceased. Despite her infection, she physically and financially exhausted herself to ensure the best care for her aunt, yet, «in vain» according to her. «If I still had days off, I must admit that my only wish would have been to isolate myself far from the city, far from the noise of ambulance sirens, somewhere I would not see any funeral transportation services, as I can no longer bear the sight of these services that have bled us financially», the dismayed niece lamented.

This article was published with the support of Google News Initiative

Coronavirus cases
175 274 868
Confirmed Covid-19 cases
3 785 050
total deaths
113 223 756
total recovered
 
Cases
Deaths
USA
33 437 746
599 180
India
29 359 155
367 081
Brazil
17 296 118
484 235
France
5 795 487
110 506
Turkey
5 319 359
48 593
Russia
5 120 578
123 568
United Kingdom
4 566 893
128 148
Italy
4 241 760
126 924
Argentina
4 093 090
84 628
Spain
3 733 600
80 501
Germany
3 720 811
89 821
Colombia
3 694 707
94 615
Iran
3 013 078
81 796
Poland
2 877 007
74 515
Mexico
2 448 820
229 823
Ukraine
2 281 303
53 683
Peru
1 998 056
188 100
Indonesia
1 894 025
52 566
South Africa
1 730 106
57 592
Netherlands
1 697 999
17 986
Czechia
1 664 839
30 219
Chile
1 461 419
30 472
Canada
1 407 304
25 863
Philippines
1 300 349
22 507
Iraq
1 246 860
16 668
Sweden
1 083 456
14 574
Romania
1 079 530
31 681
Belgium
1 074 988
25 075
Pakistan
939 931
21 633
Portugal
855 951
17 044
Israel
839 653
6 428
Bangladesh
822 849
13 032
Hungary
806 790
29 904
Japan
772 293
13 936
Jordanie
739 847
9 530
Serbia
714 634
6 951
Switzerland
700 051
10 859
Austria
648 187
10 652
Malaysia
646 411
3 768
Nepal
604 396
8 305
United Arab Emirates
593 894
1 720
Lebanon
542 375
7 790
Morocco
523 165
9 202
Saudi Arabia
463 703
7 537
Kazakhstan
456 346
3 487
Ecuador
437 121
20 997
Bulgaria
420 213
17 893
Greece
413 954
12 381
Belarus
403 845
2 958
Bolivia
400 047
15 321
Slovakia
390 893
12 433
Paraguay
387 687
10 561
Panama
386 269
6 427
Tunisia
364 819
13 365
Croatia
358 379
8 123
Georgia
352 649
5 012
Costa Rica
339 900
4 322
Azerbaijan
335 065
4 951
Uruguay
333 484
4 906
Kuwait
325 014
1 813
West Bank and Gaza
311 018
3 524
Dominican Republic
306 698
3 700
Denmark
289 919
2 524
Lithuania
277 379
4 330
Ethiopia
273 892
4 235
Egypt
271 780
15 547
Guatemala
269 308
8 416
Ireland
266 058
4 941
Bahrain
256 921
1 196
Slovenia
256 224
4 398
Moldova
255 715
6 149
Venezuela
248 820
2 797
Honduras
245 695
6 599
Oman
230 219
2 467
Armenia
223 555
4 482
Qatar
219 466
574
Sri Lanka
218 366
2 011
Bosnia and Herzegovina
204 597
9 479
Thailand
189 828
1 402
Libya
188 762
3 158
Kenya
174 773
3 378
Nigeria
167 051
2 117
North Macedonia
155 507
5 470
Cuba
154 866
1 065
Korea, South
147 422
1 982
Burma
145 064
3 239
Latvia
135 762
2 449
Algeria
132 727
3 560
Albania
132 437
2 453
Estonia
130 418
1 266
Norway
127 874
789
Kyrgyzstan
109 193
1 876
Zambia
107 974
1 348
Kosovo
107 125
2 252
China
103 320
4 846
Uzbekistan
102 892
704
Montenegro
99 914
1 597
Ghana
94 444
789
Finland
93 660
964
Afghanistan
87 716
3 412
Cameroon
80 090
1 310
El Salvador
75 351
2 288
Cyprus
73 115
372
Mongolia
72 104
342
Mozambique
71 355
840
Luxembourg
70 406
818
Maldives
69 831
192
Namibia
62 806
973
Singapore
62 245
34
Botswana
59 480
896
Uganda
58 515
408
Jamaica
48 810
960
Cote d'Ivoire
47 638
306
Senegal
41 900
1 150
Madagascar
41 869
879
Zimbabwe
39 688
1 629
Cambodia
37 321
311
Angola
36 455
819
Sudan
36 203
2 719
Congo (Kinshasa)
34 695
831
Malawi
34 470
1 158
Cabo Verde
31 512
272
Malta
30 579
419
Australia
30 234
910
Trinidad and Tobago
28 106
644
Rwanda
27 862
368
Syria
24 767
1 806
Gabon
24 736
156
Guinea-Bissau
23 366
167
Mauritania
20 005
473
Eswatini
18 723
676
Guyana
18 196
422
Suriname
17 799
390
Papua New Guinea
16 621
164
Haiti
16 079
346
Somalia
14 779
774
Mali
14 336
523
Andorra
13 813
127
Togo
13 597
126
Burkina Faso
13 456
167
Tajikistan
13 308
90
Seychelles
12 973
46
Belize
12 938
325
Taiwan*
12 500
385
Bahamas
12 092
236
Congo (Brazzaville)
12 026
157
Djibouti
11 571
154
Lesotho
10 853
326
South Sudan
10 688
115
Vietnam
10 048
57
Equatorial Guinea
8 640
118
Timor-Leste
8 145
18
Benin
8 109
102
Nicaragua
7 662
188
Central African Republic
7 101
98
Yemen
6 856
1 342
Iceland
6 555
29
Gambia
6 008
180
Niger
5 446
192
Saint Lucia
5 168
80
San Marino
5 090
90
Burundi
4 975
8
Chad
4 942
174
Eritrea
4 848
16
Sierra Leone
4 312
82
Barbados
4 033
47
Comoros
3 894
146
Guinea-Bissau
3 802
69
Liechtenstein
3 024
59
New Zealand
2 702
26
Monaco
2 520
33
Liberia
2 484
93
Sao Tome and Principe
2 356
37
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
2 132
12
Laos
1 979
3
Bhutan
1 789
1
Mauritius
1 564
18
Antigua and Barbuda
1 263
42
Fiji
970
4
Diamond Princess
712
13
Tanzania
509
21
Brunei Darussalam
248
3
Dominican Republic
189
0
Grenada
161
1
Saint Kitts and Nevis
83
0
Holy See
27
0
Solomon Islands
20
0
MS Zaandam
9
2
Marshall Islands
4
0
Vanuatu
4
1
Samoa
3
0
Kiribati
2
0
Micronesia
1
0
Be the first one to comment on our articles...