Two Hospitals To Be Shut Over Code Violations

Two well-known private hospitals in Phnom Penh will be shut down for multiple violations of health codes, government officials said Thursday.

Jean Ay clinic on Norodom Bou­levard, which is Taiwanese-owned, and the Tong Sing Hospital on Sihanouk Boulevard will both be closed for various instances of medical malpractice, said Sok Sokun, deputy director of the municipal health department.

A branch of Jean Ay on National Route 6A in Russei Keo district was closed Tuesday for operating without a Health Ministry license, Sok Sokun added.

“We are waiting for [Health Minister Nuth Sokhom] to sign the letter to close the two clinics,” Sok Sokun said.

Nuth Sokhom could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Jean Ay’s Norodom Boulevard branch does not have a Cambodian doctor on staff, as required by law, while Tong Sing does not have enough Cambodian doctors on staff, Sok Sokun said.

Both clinics have also been illegally transporting victims from accident scenes in their private ambulances, he claimed.

Only state-run Calmette Hospital, Preah Kossomak Hospital and the Cambodian-Soviet Friendship Hos­pital can send ambulances to accident scenes, said San Sary, director of the Health Ministry’s hospital service department.

The Health Ministry issued a directive forbidding private ambulances from traveling to accident scenes Nov 29.

Cambodian hospitals are also obliged to employ more Cambodian doctors than foreign ones to ensure that the country benefits from foreign investment, San Sary added.

Chaos reigned at Jean Ay’s branch on Norodom Boulevard on Thursday morning, as staff claimed that doctors had fled after the Wednesday night death of a patient who was injured in a traffic accident.

Bou Tong Ieng, 44, of Meanchey district, died at Jean Ay, his widow Chan Thy told reporters, adding that she wanted compensation.

“I want the clinic to compensate us,” she said, alleging that she had asked doctors to transfer her husband to Calmette but they refused.

A nurse at the clinic said that the doc­tors left after the man died but declined further comment. Jean Ay management could not be contacted by telephone.

Sok Sokun said a Taiwanese in­ve­stor opened Jean Ay in May 2005 and hired a Cambodian doctor as the director. The doctor resigned in No­vember in protest of clinic policies, he claimed, but did not elaborate.

Staffers at Tong Sing declined to speak to a reporter and the hospital’s di­rector could not be reached for comment.


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