Pregnant women walk one hour to the hospital

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Although they admit that they receive advice from their gynecologists, there are women from the Roma district in Kocani which don’t go to the obligating examinations for the monitoring of their pregnancies.

 

Most of them haven’t heard that they have a right for free PAP – test a year. All gynecologist services are being charged whether with the blue health cartons or with money. Although they admit that they receive advice from their gynecologists, there are women which don’t go to the obligating examinations for the monitoring of their pregnancies. These are part of the testimonials of a group of women from the Roma district in Kocani, which gathered in Monday to hear why it is important to go to regular gynecologist examinations during their pregnancies.

One of them was a woman who was four months pregnant.

– I am four months pregnant and I haven’t been for a check-up. I don’t want to go because I don’t want to know the gender of the baby. I have three sons and I want a daughter. That is the only reason why I don’t want to go to a doctor – said one of the women.

Everyone said that they have health insurance, they have blue cartons and a gynecologist. None of the present was employed. Only two of them received an invitation from their gynecologist for a free PAP test. The others pay 500 denars for a PAP test. The examinations with an echo were charged differently – 200 or 300 denars. There was a case where someone had to pay the transportation to Skopje with a hospital vehicle, which cost 800 denars. One of the women said that she paid 2000 denars for a caesarean section. She couldn’t leave the hospital until she paid her debt.

Most of them are socially vulnerable and are in a difficult financial state.

– I have five children. When I have money, I pay for examinations and for the medication for therapy. But, at the end of the day, if my family doesn’t have food, I spend the money on food, not on my health – said one of the women

We asked what they do when they have no money but they have to make examinations.

– The gynecologists in Kocani know us and they know our situation. When we have no money, they tell us to pay whenever we can – said one of the women;

– I leave my health card or a personal ID, or both, and when I have money. I pay. If I don’t have money, I leave the documents and I apply for new ones – said another.

Lately, according to them, there were many cases with pregnant women from the hospital in Kocani, to get sent to the state clinics in Skopje for the examinations, especially for the microbiological and the specific gynecological examinations. The patients pay the fees. Some of them have to go to Skopje several times.

Also, the hospital in Kocani is far from the Roma district.

–  The pregnant women from the district, who don’t have cars and money for a taxi, are forced to walk to the hospital which could take one hour – said the women.

One mitigating circumstance in the whole situation, according to their information, is that they can quickly schedule the examinations with the gynecologists from the hospital in Kocani. They don’t wait very long for the examinations.

The new time brings new habits. The younger women said that they have support from their husbands during their pregnancies. Their husbands even accompanied them to the visits.

 

Eleven million denars a year for PAP – tests

Around 400.000 women didn’t have a gynecologist which meant that they couldn’t have a free PAP-test once a year. This is information from the newspaper DNEVNIK from a year ago. On 01 April 2012 the screening started for the first time – the gynecologists called the women aged 24 – 35 for an examination. But, the examination was only for those who had picked out a specialist. A personal gynecologist, according to the Fond for health insurance in Macedonia (FZOM), is available even for girls aged 12. In three years, the screening will include women aged 24 – 60.

Eleven million denars are provided a year. 100.000 women will be invited, and around 25.000 are planned for the PAP-test in the whole country, although there are more patients. According to DNEVNIK, if there are more patients interested, the number of the PAP-testa will be increased.

The cervical cancer is a second reason for the mortality of women in Macedonia. In one year, 250 women are diagnosed with it, and around 30 die from it because when they discover it, it is too late.

 

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