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Health Minister targets illegal medical practitioners

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
A man drives his family home from the hospital. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The Minister of Health has instructed all health departments to completely eliminate illegal medical practitioners in order to ensure that only proper treatment is provided across the Kingdom.

Speaking during the Roundtable Forum on Hepatitis C at the University of Health Sciences in Phnom Penh on Friday, Health Minister Mam Bun Heng reminded all heads of capital and provincial health departments to arrange any necessary legal documents to file to the relevant court in order to take down illegal health services.

He said removing illegal health service providers is important to protect public welfare.

Mr Bun Heng added that medical treatment provided by unlicensed health professionals risks the spread of infections and diseases, including hepatitis C, and even lead to death.

“The ministry will instruct doctors to do their job well, and also prevent people from giving injections without a permit,” he said.

“The ministry has already issued a letter to the capital and provincial health departments to completely eliminate unlicensed medical practitioners,” he added. “In case there are still such medical practitioners, the relevant department is required to file a lawsuit to a court for further legal action.”

Mr Bun Heng said improving health services is in line with the United Nations’ goal to eliminate hepatitis B and C in the world by 2030.

The goals also include the provision of hepatitis B vaccinations to children, protecting hepatitis B infection from spreading from mother to children, ensure safe injections, the provision of safe syringe and needles, as well as proper diagnosis of hepatitis B and C and its treatment.

“The main goal of the government is to ensure that our people all over the country, especially the poor and workers, can have access to health care and treatment from our doctors, without leaving anyone out,” he said.

Saphon Vonthanak, Rector of the University of Health Sciences, at the event on Friday said that the government and development partners have been exchanging ideas and working together to prevent the spread of hepatitis and treat infected patients.

He added that the discussions seek to gather input for the planning of national strategies to eradicate hepatitis.

Preah Vihear provincial Department of Health director Koung Lo, yesterday said that his department has been collaborating with local authorities and health centres to crack down on unlicensed medical practitioners.

He added that authorities also regularly check local pharmacies to prevent the provision of any illegal medical services and the sale of expired drugs to the public.

“In the past, we received reports of illegal medical practitioners and we called them in and asked them to sign a contract promising to stop immediately,” Mr Lo said. “We also continue to monitor their activities.”

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