The influx of Haitians in Dominican hospital falls after deportations
The influx of Haitian patients drastically decreased this Monday in a major hospital in Santo Domingo, as a result of the deterrent effect caused by the arrest and expulsion from the country, since last week, of hundreds of pregnant Haitian immigrants.
At the San Lorenzo de los Mina Maternal and Child Hospital, one of the places where Migration officials captured Haitian women last week, the number of foreign patients this Monday was 30% lower than usual.
The director of the health center, Leonardo Aquino Rosario, told Efe that after putting into practice some measures to control migration “the assistance of Haitian nationals has diminished, especially through external consultations.”
The General Directorate of Migration (DGM) began to deport pregnant Haitian women last Tuesday, as part of a package of measures announced to curb illegal immigration from the neighboring country.
However, the center “women in labor and children always come via emergency” from that origin, but since the application of these migratory measures “this assistance via consultation has decreased by 30%,” said Aquino Rosario.
The doctor pointed out that the lack of follow-up in pregnancy consultations can lead to medical problems, including anemia, infection, malnutrition, hypertensive disorders (pre-eclampsia and eclampsia), as well as complications that can lead to the death of the mother.
That could be the result for future mothers who decide not to go to routine check-ups for fear of being intercepted by members of the Immigration Department or the Army, as has happened since the forced returns began.
According to the director of the hospital, there have been no arrests of pregnant women within the Los Mina facilities, and no babies have been separated from their mothers in the newborn area.
“Migration, as such, has not been within the institution’s premises, much less with persecution of the users,” said the doctor, who also has no evidence that the DGM “has been on the periphery” of the center, although according to various complaints, many arrests have been made in the environment of maternity hospitals.
The Dominican Migration Law empowers the DGM to automatically deport any immigrant in an irregular condition, but the regulation that regulates this law prohibits the detention of pregnant women. With the measures adopted, public hospitals will only treat undocumented foreigners in cases of medical emergency and pregnant women of more than six months will be prohibited from entering the country if they do not have the corresponding medical insurance.