Clinic Breaks Ambulance Rule, Faces Closure

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.

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