Woman Dies During Operation At Unlicensed Clinic in Pursat

A 33-year-old woman died during a botched surgery in Pursat City on Monday at an unlicensed clinic that local authorities closed down earlier this month but failed to notice had reopened.

Pursat provincial police shuttered the clinic for a second time Tuesday and have begun searching for two at-large health care workers suspected of responsibility for the patient’s death, said To Taing Eng, chief of the provincial police force’s technical and scientific bureau.

Mr. Taing Eng said the family of Soeng Chan Thoeun, 33, who lived in Krakor district, took her to the clinic in Pursat City’s Phteah Prey commune Monday night to have a cyst removed from her ovaries.

“We got a phone call from the family of the victim because they suspected the victim died because of the operation by Chinese doctors,” he said.

Mr. Taing Eng said the two health care workers, both Chinese nationals, attempted to bribe the family so the relative would not contact police after realizing that the patient had died at about 10 p.m.

“The Chinese doctors tried to negotiate with the family of the victim to not file a complaint against them but they were rejected,” he said.

“That clinic has been shut down and all of the medical equipment has been confiscated,” he added.

Dr. Chan Sokha, director of the Pursat provincial referral hospital, said an autopsy was performed on the body at about 3 a.m. Tuesday at the request of police.

“The result of the autopsy showed that the victim died because of a bad operation,” he said, adding that Soeng Chan Thoeun had lost “a lot of blood.”

Dr. Sokha said the medics attempted to cover up their negligence by stitching up the wound without completing the operation.

Provincial health department director Khouy Dy said the unlicensed clinic was ordered to close early this month but had reopened quietly.

“It is our carelessness that allowed it to reopen because we do not have the resources to follow up,” he said.

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