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Stampede evacuations discussed

Stampede evacuations discussed

Doctors at Calmette Hospital met on Tuesday to discuss the evacuation of patients severely injured in last week’s deadly Diamond Island stampede to hospitals in neighbouring countries.

The meeting followed an announcement on Monday by Prime Minister Hun Sen that the government would pay evacuation and hospital costs for any patient requiring treatment not available locally.

Sok Khon, director of administration at Calmette, said that no patients had yet been evacuated, but that staff were preparing for that possibility.

“Our top doctors met on Tuesday and carefully checked the status of the victims to determine whether they need to be sent out of the country for further treatment,” he said.

Hun Sen said on Monday that any victim of the bridge stampede who had sustained injuries “beyond our ability to cure” would be sent abroad for treatment and that the government would be “responsible for local and international treatment”.

“We are discussing the matter in accordance with the prime minister’s announcement. We have not yet sent anyone, but are checking their condition,” Sok Khon said.

Som Sophorn, deputy director of Preah Ketomealea hospital, said on Tuesday that a 32-year-old patient being treated for a cerebral hemorrhage was transferred to Calmette Hospital in accordance with policy established by the Ministry of Social Affairs.

“The ministry has ordered that all seriously injured patients be sent to Calmette in order to be evaluated for possible evacuation,” he said.

Health Minister Mam Bunheng and Social Affairs Minister Ith Sam Heng were unavailable for comment.

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