Unlicensed Medic Arrested Over Patient’s Death

An unlicensed medic was arrested in Tbong Khmum province on Monday after administering three injections to a patient who then died en route to a nearby clinic, a police official said on Tuesday.

Pich Nhor, 71, a longtime medical practitioner in Suong City who treated patients at their homes, was called to the house of Em Thuol, 46, on Monday morning by relatives of the man, who had been suffering from breathing problems, blackouts and excessive perspiration, according to city police chief Chhorn Sokthun.

Upon arriving, Mr. Nhor injected Em Thuol in the hip with camphor and a vitamin B complex—used to increase blood flow and boost metabolism, respectively—and administered a shot of hydrocortisone, an anti-inflammatory, to his shoulder, Mr. Sokthun said.

“Thirty minutes after he was injected, his conditions became worse, so his family decided to take him to a clinic,” he said. “But he died on the way.”

Mr. Sokthun said the victim’s family, which had for years relied solely on Mr. Nhor for medical care, then reported the death to local police, who arrested the medic at his home at about 9:30 a.m.

“He has been treating people in Suong City for a long time,” he said. “He didn’t have any certifications, but he worked at Kompong Cham referral hospital from 1979 to 1992.”

Shortly after the arrest on Monday, Em Thuol’s widow, Ban Sopheap, requested Mr. Nhor’s release, according to Mr. Sokthun, who said the medic would nevertheless remain in police custody and be sent to court Wednesday to face charges of manslaughter.

In December, an unlicensed medic in Battambang province was sentenced to 25 years in prison for spreading HIV to more than 280 people by reusing needles and syringes. The following month, Health Minister Mam Bunheng vowed to rid the country of unlicensed clinics and doctors.

Ly Sovann, a ministry spokesman and the director of its communicable disease control department, said he could only speak about communicable diseases and refused to comment on Mr. Nhor’s arrest.

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Correction: A previous headline with this article incorrectly stated that Pich Nhor had been charged over the death of Em Thuol.

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