USDA-run clinic demands money from patients

Dec 18, 2007 (DVB), Patients visiting a free clinic run by the Union Solidarity and Development Association in Thanlyin township, Rangoon, are being forced to pay 300 kyat for an appointment.

The USDA clinic is supposed to be free of charge, but patients must get a token from the clinic clerk before they can be seen.

One of the clinic's patients said that the clerk has been demanding 300 kyat for a token.

"They said the clinic was for free but now they're charging 300 kyat and we're not very happy with that," the patient said.

Local residents believe that the clerk has a drink problem and is using the money to buy alcohol.

The clerk at the clinic denied the accusations.

"We don't ask for money, it's free and we treat everyone warmly," he said.

The clinic has also been criticised for trying to compete with the Free Funeral Service Society clinics.

Since the USDA clinic has been set up, it has been able to get a share of the donations intended for the FFSS clinics.

Reporting by Htet Yazar

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