Medical Leader Rails Against Lack of Ethics Profess

The Medical Association of Cambodia celebrated its 10th anniversary Thursday with a ceremony and a workshop on professional ethics.

Association President Sav Sot­tonn spoke out against the country’s many fraudulent physicians who run unlicensed private practices. He said 80 percent of the country’s clinics are not authorized by the Ministry of Health, but there is no authority to check their certificates or close them.

Sav Sottonn said some doctors who work at state-run hospitals operate independent clinics on the side.

He said they often ne­glect hospital patients and steal drugs. Many of these mercenary doctors are recently graduated medical students who find hospital staffs full, he said. They want to make a living in medicine, so they open private clinics.

“Most doctors have stopped thinking about their ethics,” Sav Sottonn said.

“They look for ways to cheat patients out of money. Some even try to lie to patients, telling them they have serious diseases so they can charge them higher fees. Doctors should be concerned about patients’ lives and the difficulties they face.

“Some doctors even tell pa­tients that they can cure AIDS and go so far as to advertise this service in the media,” he added.

There is no cure for AIDS.

He also warned against traditional doctors who experiment with modern medicine despite having no scientific knowledge.

In an interview following the workshop, Sav Sottonn said he hoped he had persuaded any unscrupulous doctors or pharmacists in attendance to conduct themselves more professionally.

Senate President Chea Sim, who presided over the event, told the audience that the government was trying to improve medical services in rural areas by providing transportation to hospitals. He lamented the fact that many poor people cannot get needed treatment until it is too late.


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