Ministry To Probe Death by Alleged Neglect

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.


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