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Preah Vihear clinics shut down

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Preah Vihear provincial health deparment officials have ordered at least 20 private medical clinics to shut down. Photo supplied

Preah Vihear clinics shut down

At least 20 private medical clinics in Preah Vihear province have been ordered shut after provincial health department officials found some of them operating without a licence while others were caught selling expired medicines to patients.

The latest move is part of an ongoing series of crackdowns on unlicensed clinics across the province.

Those located in Choam Ksan district make up the majority of the clinics that were ordered shut, district governor Chea Kimseng said on Wednesday.

“Up to now, the authorities have closed all . . . or about 25 unlicensed clinics in Choam Ksan. Some operated illegally while others sold expired medicines,” he said.

On July 18, Kimseng said the authorities had initially shuttered six clinics which continued to sell unauthorised and expired medicines to patients “despite repeated warnings” in the district’s Kantuot and Sra Em communes after separate raids and inspection.

At least 46 items of expired medicines were confiscated during the previous operations.

Meanwhile, the Kampong Thom provincial health department also said on Wednesday that they had shut down one medical clinic accused of misconduct.

The owner, who is a doctor, allegedly allowed his 28-year-old son – a medical student – to run full-time practices at the clinic despite having no licence, the department deputy director, Sy Thyravuth, was quoted as saying in a statement released by the Ministry of Health recently.

“[My team] and I shut down the private clinic by removing its business sign. We also issued a closure order to which they agreed,” he said.

Thyravuth said the authority repeatedly found the clinic had been short on physicians, nurses and other medical staff, noting that they did not comply with “the laws and technical health procedures”.

“When the health facilities first opened, they had enough physicians and medical staff. But now, they don’t have [enough] employees. For this, we cannot allow them to operate any longer,” he said.

Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng said the ministry encouraged more private medical clinics to operate on grounds that they provided services that public establishments lacked.

However, he urged all private clinics to adhere to the regulations set by the government.

“Not adhering to the professional standards or not having sufficient physicians and [other] medical staff would affect the services provided by any particular clinic. In other words, people’s health could be compromised,” he said.

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