An eye doctor at Ratanakkiri Referral Hospital has been disciplined after being found to have insulted and slapped a 56-year-old deaf, mute and blind Kreung indigenous woman on Tuesday night.
The Ministry of Health had investigated the doctor, Nob Yum, and concluded that she had insulted and used violence on a patient, Ung Ratana, the director of the provincial Health Department, said on Wednesday.
Ratana declined to go into details of the punishment Yum received.
The Facebook user “For Cambodian People” on Tuesday night posted that his 56-year-old ethnic Kreung mother Pas Peal, from Veun Sai district’s Koh Peak commune, had been assaulted while having a check-up.
Being in a serious condition, the hospital advised his mother to remain there for a week.
“It is unreasonable that when arriving at the eye treatment building, I encountered a doctor using insulting and unprofessional language. The physician used rude and offensive words and looked down at us, saying ethnic minority people are f–ing stupid.
“She slapped and beat my mother while examining her, dragging her by the arms and legs. My mother is a deaf, mute and blind widow and does not speak Khmer as she is of an ethnic minority,” the user said.
Ratana said the hospital’s disciplinary council concluded the accounts to be true following an investigation into the events of Tuesday night after receiving an immediate report.
“We have completed an internal investigation and the disciplinary council has punished the physician. We are taking the documentation to the Ministry of Health.
“The disciplinary council has punished the physician. We are taking the documentation to the Ministry of Health. The disciplinary council worked at night until the early hours. The ministry was made aware on Tuesday,” Ratana said.
“For Cambodian People” called on Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng to take action against the doctor for serious professional misconduct.
He said many other patients claimed she had regularly used violence and insulted patients, and had done so for some time.
The ministry’s General Department of Administration and Finance said that it would seek justice for the Kreung woman and take tough measures against those guilty of gross misconduct.
The Post could not reach York Sambath, the head of the General Department of Administration and Finance, for comment on Wednesday.
Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine was unavailable.
Din Khanny, the provincial coordinator for right groups Adhoc, said the constitution stipulated that all Cambodian citizens regardless of ethnicity had equal rights under the law.
The Kingdom’s Law on Human Rights and international law stipulates that every citizen had the right to dignity, with no one able to discriminate against them, he said.
“When people are ill and are subjected to rude and offensive language when seeing doctors, it further affects their mental health,” Khanny said.
Any doctor using inappropriate language would be subject to administrative disciplinary action and could face deducted pay, suspension or removal from their position, he said.
Using violence and offensive words was a criminal offence, with the full force of the law awaiting if a patient were to file a complaint with the court, he added.