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Health establishments warned against rejecting patients

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Khmer–Soviet Friendship Hospital is a public hospital located on Yothapol Khemarak Phoumin Boulevard in Phnom Penh. Heng Chivoan

Health establishments warned against rejecting patients

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has instructed all state and private hospitals, clinics and maternity establishments to avoid denying admission to patients and to send them to the nearest treatment facilities if they test positive for Covid-19.

Bun Heng said the ministry had recently noted that some patients in critical conditions were denied admission at some state and private hospitals and clinics for fears of Covid-19. Refusing to admit patients, he said, could tarnish the ministry's image and the dignity of medical professionals in general.

In a directive dated August 4, Bun Heng said: “For national-level hospitals and health centres, they have to accept patients and use Covid-19 antigen rapid test kits to see if they are positive for Covid-19. And if they carry Covid-19, place them in separate rooms.

Provincial and district referral hospitals have to follow the same procedures. If any patients coming to get treatment tested positive for Covid-19, they must be placed in separate rooms or sent to the nearest treatment facility.

"When transferring them to a Covid-19 treatment facility, also attach the details of their conditions," he said

For private hospitals and clinics, it depends on whether they have a permit from the ministry to treat Covid-19 patients. If they do, they must place patients in separate rooms. And if they don’t have a permit, they must transfer patients to the nearest Covid-19 treatment facility.

Any private health establishments found to reject patients in contravene of the instruction will face a shutdown.

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