Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Push for R’kiri doctor’s ouster amid HIV fears

Push for R’kiri doctor’s ouster amid HIV fears

Push for R’kiri doctor’s ouster amid HIV fears

The provincial Health Department in Ratanakkiri province has summonsed an unlicensed doctor in Banlung town’s Laban Siek commune after residents there learned of an HIV outbreak in Battambang province that has been linked to a similarly unlicensed medical practitioner.

Authorities are threatening legal action against Kang Sun Heang if he doesn’t respond to the summons and sign a contract promising he will shut down his medical business immediately.

Residents in Laban Siek, where Sun Heang supplemented his income as a teacher by giving injections and other services, complained to the provincial Health Department, which had previously summonsed him in February in an attempt to shut his clinic down.

“If he still flouts the contract, we will hand him over to court,” said Ung Ratana, provincial Health Department director.

Sun Heang said in a phone interview that he had received medical training in the military.

“I have injected patients in the villages since 2014 and no one has had any problems. I treat them after teaching because of my destitute livelihood,” he said, adding that he would meet with provincial officials.

Meanwhile, villagers are terrified that they may have contracted HIV, like the more than 119 people in Battambang’s Roka commune who tested positive in the past week. Though an investigation into the case is ongoing, police have charged a local doctor, who received training in Thai refugee camps, with murder after it was revealed that he allegedly reused needles on patients.

“We are worried like the case in Battambang, because we do not know which doctors are professional or unlicensed, so previously we just follow suit,” said 50-year-old resident Chhen Saroeun.

Ratana of the provincial Health Department sought to allay fears of an outbreak, and pointed to a recent blood test campaign in Ratanakkiri province that showed rates decreasing.

However, Chhay Thy, provincial coordinator for rights group Adhoc, said “four to five people” with AIDS, the disease caused by HIV, died due to mistreatment from unlicensed doctors.


  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all