A private medical clinic is facing the threat of closure for being the first violator of a new Ministry of Health rule that only government-run ambulances can pick up accident and emergency patients, police and health officials said Thursday.
A Bopha Meas Clinic ambulance apparently rushed to the scene of a traffic accident in Tuol Kok district and brought a patient to its clinic in Tuol Kok district’s Boeng Kak I commune, Heng Taikry, Ministry of Health secretary of state, said by telephone.
The family of the seriously injured patient—concerned about the severity of a head wound suffered in the accident—contacted the Ministry of Health to intervene and take their relative to Calmette hospital, Heng Taikry said.
Ministry officials asked municipal and military police to investigate, which led to the confiscation of the clinic’s ambulance.
The Ministry will now fine the clinic between $1,250 and $2,500, Heng Taikry said.
“We have to crack down, as an example to other clinics,” Heng Taikry said. “When we learn any private ambulance takes patient, we will confiscate that ambulance and fine the clinic,” he added.
Heng Taikry said the ministry will also go a step further and ask the courts to shut down the Bopha Meas clinic because it doesn’t have an operating license.
Tann Uttarou, Tuol Kok military police commander, confirmed Thursday by phone that on Tuesday night his officers confiscated a Bopha Meas clinic’s ambulance.
The military police are holding the ambulance at the Phnom Penh municipal military police headquarters, he said.
Kung Bopha, owner and director of Bopha Meas clinic, could not be reached for comment Thursday by phone or at her clinic. Bopha Meas clinic staff also declined to comment to a reporter.