The Phnom Penh municipal health department on Monday said that it would allow a health center claiming to cure diseases such as cancer and diabetes through “detox” treatments to remain open, despite previous claims that it had already been shut down.
Sok Sokun, director of the municipal health department, said Monday that it was the Health Ministry’s fault that Immanuel Bicom True Healing had been operating without a license, backtracking from his statements last week, when he said that the center had already been closed by authorities.
“The reason the clinic has no license yet is that the Ministry [of Health] is very slow,” Mr. Sokun said, adding that the Immanuel Bicom was still in the process of obtaining a license, although it had not been able to prove that it employed trained medical staff or doctors.
The center, which has been open for almost three months, has treated several patients for a number of ailments, including cancer, owner Helena Kun Lim has said. Ms. Kun Lim claims that all diseases are caused by toxins in the air, water and food, and can be cured by machines that remove these toxins.
Mr. Sokun said that if the clinic employed a doctor, it would receive a license and remain open.
“They must have a certified doctor before getting their license,” he said.
However, Saing Sary, director of the Ministry of Health’s department of hospitals, said Monday that Immanuel should have never begun treating patients, as it was necessary to obtain a license beforehand.
“Even though they are in the process to get a license, they cannot open for business or treatment now,” Mr. Sary said.
He said that Immanuel Bicom, which is located in the Boeng Keng Kang neighborhood, lacks professionally trained health staff and proper equipment to treat patients for serious ailments.
“Operating such a cheating clinic is like killing people,” Mr. Sary said. “If the Phnom Penh municipal department of health does not shut it down, then the Ministry of Health’s hospital department will shut it down directly.”