The director of the Stung Treng Provincial Health Department and owner of the Stung Treng Sekong Clinic was arrested and sent to court yesterday after a doctor under his charge performed a botched abortion that resulted in a woman’s death.
Sao Phally, 30, died on June 9 after the clinician unsuccessfully attempted to abort her eight-week pregnancy four times. Her family rushed her to Phnom Penh, but doctors were unable to save her life. The accused doctor has since fled.
Prior to his arrest, clinic owner Rin Ravuth paid the victim’s family $6,000 in an attempt to settle the complaint filed with provincial authorities.
An initial investigation revealed Ravuth’s clinic was registered with the Ministry of Health but was being run illegally by a Chinese national – the doctor in question – who is unregistered with the ministry, said Hour Sam Ol, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc.
“We would like the court to take legal action,” Sam Ol added.
Ravuth was released on bail last night although the investigation is ongoing, according to deputy provincial police chief Hor Vuthy.
The victim’s family could not be reached, but police indicated they planned to withdraw the complaint.