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Have you heard about the infamous "austerity measures" Greece has imposed? Hospital funding has been cut, too, and an increasing number of people is not insured. Several mothers who were unable to pay the costs of their hospital birth were told they couldn't take their baby home until they paid up.

The BBC tells the stories of several mothers who weren't able to pay for their maternity services in full by the time they and their babies were ready to leave the hospital, and who were then threatened that they wouldn't be able to take their newborns home until they did pay up. At the Athens maternity hospital, one woman had to have a cesarean section.

She, like all her family, is unemployed and now being evicted from their rented shack as well. The woman was able to take her baby home with the help of an organization called Women Against the Debt. She is now allowed to pay her maternity bill in installments. Still, she has no idea how she will pay for her baby's childhood vaccinations.Another mom tells the story of how she wasn't allowed to take her baby home for a full week, after which she scraped the funds to pay her bill together somehow. She was told to come and breastfeed her baby, also at the Athens maternity hospital, several times a day. And yet another woman simply took her baby, but couldn't get a birth certificate because of the inability to pay the hospital bill.

The global recession has hit Greece hard, and cutting social programs and the funding of public health systems is a tough decision to make. But, threatening to keep babies of families who can't pay a maternity bill all in one go is simply shocking. What do you have to say about this situation? If you are in Greece, has anything similar happened to you?

Also relevant: How to get prenatal care when you are uninsured?

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