A patient from the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital was abandoned by an ambulance in the streets of Kandal province on Monday and died the following day, Saang district police claimed yesterday, though the hospital’s head of administration flatly denied the claim.
The alleged patient, 49-year-old Sorn Pouk of Kandal, had suffered from cirrhosis of the liver. Seng Socheat, chief of police in Saang district, said Pouk was transported by ambulance from the hospital to Street 21B in Kandal and discharged there. Police added that Pouk was extremely poor.
“After receiving information from locals; I assigned some officers to pick him up,” said Socheat. “The patient was very weak already.” The hospital’s head of administration, who refused to give his name, said Pouk’s name wasn’t in the records, then hung up.
Toun Vithea, head of the ambulance service at the hospital also denied the report, saying there was no ambulance going from the hospital to Kandal that day.
Saang District Governor Khim Chankiri confirmed the police report yesterday, saying that he initially wanted the patient sent to the district referral hospital.
However, Socheat said Pouk’s wife intervened and requested he be taken to a local pagoda as his condition was “already hopeless”.
First responders complied and Pouk died at Tropang Chouk pagoda on Tuesday morning. His body was cremated that day. Pouk’s wife could not be reached for comment yesterday.
Additional reporting by Igor Kossov