Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Doctor group subject of police investigation

Doctor group subject of police investigation

Doctor group subject of police investigation

Police in Siem Reap province yesterday shuttered an unlicensed medical clinic they say was using more than 100 unregistered medicines, though the clinic’s owner insisted the raid was in response to rival clinics complaining about their prices being undercut by his charitable operation.

According to police, the Siem Reap branch of the Virtuous Doctor Association, which operates nine other branches around the country, was closed on Tuesday after an inspection revealed its lack of a licence and the illegal medication.

“Ouch Vuthy is a doctor possessing a military medical certificate, and his association’s headquarters in Phnom Penh is recognised by the Ministry of Interior,” said Sean Sen, director of Siem Reap’s anti-economic crime office.

“But his [Siem Reap] branch has not been registered at the health department and the medicines have not been registered, so this case must be forwarded to the court”.

But Vuthy, who says his other branches have been running without problems, claims Siem Reap police are acting on behalf of rival clinics.

“I think the authorities launched the operation based on other clinics’ complaints, because they do not get as many patients as us,” he said.

Sen rejected the allegation yesterday and said police would be investigating Virtuous Doctor’s other clinics.

Phnom Penh-based Vuthy admits he has fallen foul of a 2014 change in the law which requires medical clinics to register with the Department of Health, but says he failed to register the Siem Reap clinic only because he could not find a local doctor to work there.

“I organised the document requesting a license,” he said. “But the Department of Health said anyone named as responsible for the clinic must live in Siem Reap.”

Police said they seized 103 types of Chinese-branded medicine that had not been properly registered, but Vuthy again denied the charge.

“There are three sources we buy the medicine from,” he said. “Registered drugs from the company, drugs given to us by charitable donors, and others purchased from a clinic in Olympic market in Phnom Penh.”

According to Health Department vice president Earm Bun Leoun, Vuthy’s Phnom Penh office got Ministry of Interior clearance in 2006, but was not given permission to open branches, and was later warned of the need to register his Siem Reap practice.

“The Department of Health approached the clinic and warned it to apply for permission, but he did not follow the advice,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hun Sen: Stop Russia sanctions

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said sanctions against Russia as a result of its military offensive in Ukraine should be stopped as they have produced no tangible results, and predicted that a global food crisis would ensue in 2023 as a consequence. Speaking to an audience at

  • Chinese tourists 2.0 – Coming anytime soon?

    Regional tourism is grappling with the absence of the prolific travellers and big spenders – the Chinese tourists. Cambodia, which has welcomed over two million Chinese tourists before Covid-19, is reeling from the economic loss despite being the first to fully open last November ‘To put

  • PM reflects on shoe throwing: Free speech or act of violence?

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 17 questioned whether a man who threw a shoe at him while he was in the US was exercising freedom of expression or if it was an act of hostility. Hun Sen was referring to an incident last week when

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen warmly welcomed by president Biden

    Prime Minister Hun Sen, as ASEAN chair, and other ASEAN leaders were warmly welcomed by US president Joe Biden as the ASEAN-US summit May 12-13 kicked off today in Washington. “This evening, I welcomed ASEAN leaders to the White House for the first time in

  • Prime Minister Hun Sen invites US president to attend summit in Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen personally invited US President Joe Biden to attend the ASEAN-US Summit which is set to be held in Cambodia in November, as ASEAN and the US are expected to upgrade their strategic partnership to a ‘comprehensive strategic partnership’, according to Prime

  • Siem Reap’s Angkor Botanical Garden opens

    The Angkor Botanical Garden was officially opened on May 19 with free entry for both local and international visitors for the first six weeks. The garden was established on a nearly 15ha plot of land in Siem Reap. “After the first six weeks, Angkor Botanical Garden