Fourteen bodies in Ngoerah Hospital’s morgue that have not been claimed for months were cremated yesterday. Among them was a New Zealand citizen, a Spaniard, and an Australian, while the rest were Indonesian, of whom eight were babies.
The hospital, formerly known as Sanglah General Hospital (and to this date is still commonly referred to by its old name), kept the bodies in the morgue after they arrived between March last year and July this year.
Soaring maintenance costs – reported to be above IDR900 million (US$60,000) – convinced the hospital to cremate the bodies in order to make room for others.
“We must cremate [the unclaimed bodies] to avoid overcapacity in our morgue and thus to serve others in need,” said the hospital’s director Ni Luh Dharma Kerthi Natih.
Some of the bodies remained in the morgue amid ongoing police investigations to their deaths. For instance, the Spaniard’s body was delivered to the morgue by the Kuta Police, while the New Zealander’s death was being investigated by the Ubud Police.
As for the babies, the hospital’s spokesman I Ketut Dewa Kresna said that police found some of them dead and abandoned on the streets.
After law enforcement sent letters to the hospital declaring the bodies were no longer needed for investigation, the hospital began preparing for their cremation as no one stepped forward to claim the bodies.
Dewa said that in some cases, nobody even came to visit when the deceased were still alive and under care of the hospital.
All of the deceased received a Balinese funeral ritual in order to ensure they rest in peace.