The woman who was detained by staffers of Victoria Hospital as her family was unable to pay medical bills in early January appeared for questioning at Phnom Penh Municipal Court yesterday and is demanding $5,000 in compensation.
On February 20, Investigating Judge Ham Mengse issued an order for Phern Mouy Heang, 18, to appear for questioning over her alleged confinement by three staffers, Chinese nationals Li Zhi, Yang Yan Hong and Li Guan Hua, at Victoria Hospital in Tuol Kork district.
The investigating judge decided to temporarily detain Li Zhi on January 18 after the other two went missing.
Ms Mouy Heang yesterday said that she and her mother had gone to the court following the judge’s summons.
“I told the court that when I went to Victoria Hospital for treatment, the doctors forced me to have immediate surgery,” she said. “And when my family did not have enough money to pay for the surgery, they confined me in the hospital.”
Her mother, Cheav Phavy, 47, added that her family asked the investigating judge to help find justice for them and demanded $5,000 in compensation from the hospital.
“We are poor people and do not understand the law well,” she said. “We asked the court to find justice for my daughter.”
Judge Mengse and court spokesman Ly Sophanna could not be reached for comment yesterday.
On January 13, Ms Phavy took Ms Mouy Heang to the hospital to seek treatment for uterine fibroids. Ms Phavy said that doctors said her daughter required surgery which would cost $600.
She said that after the surgery, the family was asked to pay $2,000 and following an argument, the hospital staffers locked the exits at the hospital and they could not get out until the authorities intervened.
One day after the incident, the Health Ministry shuttered the hospital indefinitely.