THE Ministry of Health is urging private clinics across the country to immediately transfer patients to state hospitals if they are suspected of having contracted A(H1N1) influenza, or swine flu.
Private clinics, particularly those in outlying provinces, often lack the means to treat patients who have contracted the virus, Health Minister Mam Bunheng said Thursday.
“Some private clinics do not have any protection materials. The virus could be transmitted to the nurses themselves or to other patients,” he said.
Provincial hospitals, on the other hand, are better able to treat swine flu patients, he added.
Health officials issued the order this week following the deaths of three Cambodians.
The patients were admitted to private clinics and stayed there for weeks before being sent to state hospitals, Mam Bunheng said.
Lengthy delays can reduce a patient’s chances of recovery, a World Health Organisation official said.
“The issue is that somebody who gets sick with [swine flu] has to be treated,” said Dr Nima Asgari, a public health specialist at the WHO. “The longer the delay, the more likely it is that the treatment will fail.”
Cambodia recorded 120 confirmed cases of swine flu, with local transmissions occurring in eight provinces as of October 2, according to the Department of Communicable Disease Control.