Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng has renewed calls for capital and provincial governors to take action against unauthorised ambulances that attend traffic accidents and transport patients to private healthcare facilities.

In a January 27 letter to the governors, Bun Heng said the ministry had once issued several instructions to not allow unauthorised ambulances of private healthcare facilities to transport the victims of traffic accidents as they often lacked adequately trained staff and did not have the appropriate equipment to provide emergency care or lift and transport the injured.

“In line with the current ministry guidelines, all governors should instruct police to take action against unauthorised ambulances. Any private health clinic or hospital that continues to operate illegal ambulances should be closed down,” he added.

He also requested that each governor work to strengthen and enhance public ambulance services in their jurisdictions.

Kampong Speu provincial governor Vei Samnang said the instructions reiterated previous orders, and that provincial authorities had made every effort to comply with them, even during the height of the pandemic.

“This kind of thing is not a problem in Kampong Speu. The health minister was correct to issue these instructions and we have followed them since they were first released,” he added.

He noted that in more than a decade, his province had not charged accident victims for transportation by ambulance.

“I have not heard of any instances of private ambulances trying to pick up victims in my province, and I hope that it never happens here,” he said.