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Snakebite death leads to clinic’s suspension

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Banteay Meanchey provincail health department has closed Sen Soksan polyclinic temporarly. Photo supplied

Snakebite death leads to clinic’s suspension

A Poipet clinic’s operations were suspended by the Banteay Meanchey provincial health department after a complaint was filed by the family of a woman who died from an improperly treated snakebite.

According to a report by local police, 26-year-old Ma Sothea, living in Poipet’s Kon Domrey village, was bitten by a cobra at 2pm on December 17. She was taken to Sen Soksan polyclinic, where she died at 6:45pm after doctors injected her with an un-specified medicine and administering an IV.

Her family subsequently filed a complaint to authorities, accusing the clinic of “unprofessional treatment” resulting in the death of their daughter, the report continues. The clinic’s owner, Chhum Bunchheng, offered $2,700 to the deceased’s family for the withdrawal of the complaint against him.

Voeun Sophy, technical director of the provincial health department, ordered the suspension of the clinic’s operations on Tuesday based on a decision by the Ministry of Health that the clinic had ignored rules banning private clinics from treating patients bitten by cobras. “The Ministry of Health suspended the clinic because of its delay in referring the bitten patient to another hospital for proper treatment, resulting in the death of the patient,” he said.

Voan Leak, 36, sister of the deceased, said the complaint was withdrawn after her family accepted the $2,700 offered. “My family has already told the authorities about this case, but we cannot stop the [case]. I think the police found another mistake which the clinic has committed,” she said.

Clinic owner Bunchheng could not be reached for comment.

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