The Ministry of Health said Friday that it will investigate a Banteay Meanchey province hospital where a heavily pregnant woman and her two unborn children died after medics allegedly abandoned her because she could not afford to pay them.
Chan Thy, 42, died with her male twin babies at Thma Puok District Referral Hospital on June 15, after she checked in to the hospital for their delivery, according to Friday’s edition of Cambodia Today, which ran pictures of the three bodies.
“The Ministry is going down to the site to investigate this case,” Hem Chhin, an undersecretary of state at the ministry said.
“If it is true, those officials must [face] disciplinary inquiry or be fired from their jobs,” he added.
Cambodia Today alleged that officials at the hospital demanded $10 from Chan Thy before they would treat her.
Chan Thy said she could pay $8.75 on the spot, but asked to owe the remaining $1.25, according to the newspaper report.
The report also alleged that the hospital’s staff refused her request, and that Chan Thy died later that day.
“My wife should not have died,” her husband Chin Saroeun was quoted as saying.
Provincial Governor Heng Chantha said he was not certain if negligence caused the deaths.
But Heng Chantha added that he had already ordered provincial authorities to investigate the matter.
If officials are found to have let her die, “[they] must be punished by law,” Heng Chantha said.
Cambodia Today also reported that, on June 16, Chan Thy’s body was driven in an ambulance to her home by a driver.
The newspaper reported that the driver then demanded an additional $10, which was raised by her neighbors.
Chhum Sovanarith, chief of Thma Puok Health office, could not be reached for comment on Friday.
Thma Puok Police Chief Sath Chheat said Friday that he was unaware of Chan Thy’s death.