Eight of the 36 clinics in Kampong Thom’s Stoung district were inspected on Monday, resulting in two being shut down and two others being fined as part of the ongoing efforts to crack down on unlicensed clinics throughout the country.
Inspections were made after a complaint was filed by district authorities asking provincial officials to help curb illegal health care service providers, said Say Nora, deputy prosecutor and spokeswoman for Kompong Thom Provincial Court. The action follows a directive from the Health and Interior ministries to go after such businesses.
“They used the name of this or that doctor [for their business], and if [those doctors] were there, it would be OK, but the ones who were running the businesses were not them,” Nora said.
Of the eight clinics, two dentistry clinics had closed well before the inspection on their own, legal action was taken against two and two were shut down after the inspection, Nora said. Medication was also confiscated.
Ministry of Health spokesman Ly Sovann did not return calls seeking comment.
In 2015, 1,368 unlicensed medical providers were shuttered.
Dr Callum Durward, head of dentistry department at Puthisastra University, said the issue of unlicensed clinics, especially traditional dentistry clinics, remained widespread and posed a danger to the public.
“They seem to be lacking enforcement,” he said of the government’s effectiveness in shutting down traditional dentistry clinics. “They have been allowed to continue to practice. Nobody can tell you how many traditional clinics there are.”
Students from International University will soon launch a survey looking at disinfection sterilisation practices in dentistry and traditional dentistry clinics in Phnom Penh, Durward added.
Additional reporting by Yesenia Amaro