Concerns about ambulance assistance in Cambodia are rightly regarding the analysis of Dr Gunther Hintz (“Lives could have been saved”, December 1), showing Dr Hintz organised his team with ambulances and attempted to take survivors from the stampede to his modern facility of Sen Sok Medical Centers in Phnom Penh. By 4am the Sen Sok team reported that they were not allowed to touch any patient for lack of administrative approval.
As a results beside the stampede deaths at Diamond Bridge, many also died at public hospitals due to the overcrowding of patients.
I felt sad and disappointed that the authorities did not allow any private clinic ambulances to be sent to help the stampede patients and treat them at their clinics due to the law and ban on private ambulances, which was passed recently. I was aware of some clinics with ambulances equipped by two or three unprofessional assistants and a lack of medical material in the ambulance van. They can be was very dangerous to seriously ill patients and that’s why the Ministry of Health banned private ambulances.
I think that the government should amend the law banning private ambulances and instead produce a Standard Operating Procedure for all private clinics to run their ambulances, including all requirements of the state regarding SOP. I hope that this SOP would be used to support the state’s heavy burden and permit private ambulances to assist patients when accidents like the stampede at Koh Pich island happen. Private ambulances could save lives.
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