I'm not quite sure what to make of this story which aired on a Green Bay, Wisconsin, television station about a woman who gave birth in El Salvador and claims she was detained for weeks in the hospital until her family came up with the cash:
It was supposed to be a two week trip to El Salvador for a Green Bay family to visit relatives. Carly Clavel, seven months pregnant, got the okay from her doctor to travel. But while in El Salvador, Carly felt sick and went to the hospital where she says she was forced to have a C-section.
"None of my records at the hospital showed I needed a C-section I think they just did it because they saw America and they saw dollars," said Clavel.
At less than four pounds little Sebastian and his mom stayed at the hospital under what she calls deplorable conditions.
"The conditions in the hospital were horrible. Rats were crawling on my bed when we were in the hospital. They were not taking care of my son properly," she said.
Carly says her baby wasn't being given enough formula and was getting smaller. She wanted to get her son back to the U.S. to get better care, but she says the hospital would not let her leave until they paid $12,000.
Carly, her baby and husband, have been in El Salvador for almost a month now.
Does this story ring true to people in El Salvador, or is there something else going on? There is one lesson -- if you are traveling to El Salvador, or somewhere else in the world for that matter, realize that you may need to pay cash for hospital care because the hospital will not necessarily accept the insurance you have from your home country. Traveler's insurance can be a good idea. Having been hospitalized in El Salvador myself, I knowfrom experience.