Each embalmment at the National Referral Hospital costs $5,000, the hospital explains tonight.
The explanation was made after public queried the fees.
In a statement tonight, it says the NRH it had taken certain measures to address the matter in the past which includes reducing the number of embalmers to conduct embalmment to only three doctors with weekly shifts for ease of properly monitoring work performed including payments.
“For each embalmment, it costs families of the deceased a total of $5000 dollars, $1,500 paid to NRH for the use of relevant equipment, drugs and chemicals and $3,500 to the embalmer. It is under the discretion of the embalmer to pay his or her helpers, charge any amount from $3,500 and below to the deceased family or waiver the total fee. The money paid to embalmers is their entitlement for performing such a hazardous medical procedure,” the statement states.
Meanwhile, the NRH clarifies that the graphic picture of blood all over the floor of the morgue that accompanied a newspaper article is part of an embalmment procedure. “Therefore, must not be considered or believed to be the usual daily status of the morgue’s level of hygiene. While pictures speaks a thousand words, if not used responsibly and appropriately can be misleading and damaging.
“Furthermore, the NRH would like to advise that pictures taken during any medical procedures and in this case the embalmment, must be given careful thought prior to publication as audiences vary in age, medical conditions, mental stability etc. Such pictures are inappropriate and can potentially cause harm,” the statement says.