Assembly Commission Debates Law on Doctors

The National Assembly’s Social and Health Commission is considering a draft law that supporters say would mark a major step in holding those working in the private health care sector accountable for their work.

The draft would establish a committee to monitor and regulate doctors, and in serious cases the board would be able to prevent a doctor from practicing.

The board would have the power to question and punish doctors who are accused of malpractice or breaching a medical code of conduct.

“This [law] is very important for Cambodia to control the anarchy of illegal medical practitioners,” said Sao Sokha, undersecretary of state for the Ministry of Health, who was present at Tuesday’s debate at the National Assembly.

Last month, Prime Minister Hun Sen called for an ethical revolution in the medical profession and blasted doctors who refuse to treat the poor.

Sao Sokha said the draft law would permit only competent and educated people to work in the private health care sector. Doctors would have to register with the board or they would not be able to practice in the country.

Health Minister Hong Sun Huot has said the law could help stop the practice of doctors who sell their rights to open a clinic to others who are not qualified to practice medicine.

Sam Rainsy Party lawmaker Kim Suor Phirith said the draft would be considered by the full National Assembly in late April.

“This law…would crack down on illegal clinics and the government can gain more revenue for legal medical operations,” Kim Suor Phirith said.


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