• Today is: Monday, September 23, 2019

From unlicenced doctor to doctor assistant

Phina So
January23/ 2015

Life was peaceful before. Life was going on with the usual things in rural villages in Cambodia. Suddenly, people realized that there are something very awful happened on them-they are having HIV- Very suddenly.

All too soon to know and too much to bear to confront the worst news in their lives that all of their 15 family members are having the virus.

It has been a shocking news where everyone shake their heads with denial.

A man had hanged himself soon after he was informed that his blood sample has HIV left alone all his children who some of them are also facing the same fate.

The issue to unlicensed medical doctor has now an issue for the government to tackle. However, we do not know how this problem is going to be solved. Yet, as reported in the local newspaper Koh Santepheap, there is again another Chinese doctor who operated a surgery on a woman and that caused her her life. It happened in Pursat province. He then reportedly fled the scene. He was also reported had been practiced his illegal medical service for about 5 years.

There are more stories to be told. A friend of mine went for health check up at a high profile private medical clinic in Phnom Penh for an upset stomach. What she saw as a Chinese doctor who was reading a newspaper behind a table and a young woman who seemed to be his interpreter and assistant. She was hoping for the best consultation as she has lost her trust with Cambodian doctors (not all). However, she was quite disappointed because the doctor only spent his time reading his local printed Chinese newspaper and only the Cambodian assistant talked to her.

With a few questions, the girl stopped asking and then wrote a prescription. My friend was horrified and asked her why she could not talk directly to the doctor? The girl simply said that she has been with him for many years and of course she could understand my friend’s symptoms. Then, the drama went on. On the prescription, she had to buy about 6 various medicines which cost her about 60$ included the consultation fee. Luckily, my friend quickly decided not to follow this doubtful practice. She rose up and said “I am not going to buy and pay”. She left finally. This happened in the heart of Phnom Penh, not rural area.

Then, again, very recently, Cambodia is shocked with the breaking news of the fake coffee. Ou Virak, a prominent public figure and critic wrote in his social media “A very small tip of a huge disaster within the health sector. From chemicals to inappropriate syringes use to pesticides.”

How come? How many more unlicensed medical practitioners are still operating unethically, wrongly, harmful, and illegally in the country? How many news such this appear on the news which us readers feel frustrated? guilty? and angry? How many lives will be lost due to this negligent of those responsible?