More than 200 doctors, nurses and staff from the Centre of Hope Friendship Clinics in the capital have called on the Ministry of Health to re-authorise operations at their facilities. The group have found themselves out of work and facing financial hardship following the shutdown of these clinics in May.
Their plight and pleas for intervention were publicly posted on the Facebook page of the Hope Friendship Clinics in early June. The three closed clinics are Mittapheap Mondul Nei Kdei Sangkhem Clinic, Chaktomuk Friendship Hospital and Pochentong Friendship Hospital.
“All 243 doctors, nurses and staff of the three clinic branches are currently suffering greatly from losing our jobs, without money to support our families and to pay off bank debts, which is a severe burden,” said their social media post.
The healthcare workers have requested intervention from Prime Minister Hun Sen and his wife Bun Rany. They hope the trio of health facilities could be reopened, allowing them to resume their duties and treat patients once more.
An employee asked not to be named conveyed his distress to The Post on June 5, saying that without a job, he faces challenges in meeting daily expenses. His primary hope remains for the Ministry of Health to allow the clinics to reopen.
“I did not have permission from the management, so I do not dare to answer. Just now we do not have jobs,” he said, adding that it was up to the government or ministry to follow their procedures.
The Ministry of Health shut down the three clinics on May 12, citing a lack of responsible doctors and failure to submit necessary reports. It explained that the hospitals had not complied with regulations.
Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine could not be reached for comment on June 5.
The Hope Friendship Clinics said in May that the three branches treated more than 89,628 patients per year, providing quality and affordable healthcare since its opening in 2021. The closures could particularly affect poorer patients, who have been able to receive discounted treatments at these facilities and may not be able to afford treatment elsewhere.