Doctor cuts woman's intestine instead of removing dead fetus

Source: , Posted On:   30 November 2022

In the latest instance of medical negligence, a doctor allegedly cut intestine of a pregnant woman who visited the hospital for a termination.

Following the allegation, the Ministry of Health ordered the temporary closure of the Doeum Angkrong Maternity clinic in Kong Pisei district to conduct thorough investigation into the incorrect procedure that put the 22-year-old factory worker in a critical condition.

“We made a visit to the clinic owned by Dr Sous Chan Reaksmey and decided to close it temporarily to investigate the allegation made against the hospital,” said Or Vandine, Secretary of State and Spokeswoman of the Ministry of Health.

According to Long Phea, the 55-year-old mother of victim, her daughter Seang Sreyoun visited the hospital to terminate her pregnancy after the doctor found her five-month-old fetus dead inside uterus.

“However, the doctor got confused and cut almost two metres of her small intestine instead of the umbilical cord. The clinic has even charged her $400 for the abortion,” the mother alleged.

She added that the clinic then offered her a compensation of $3,000 which her daughter refused to accept.

The latest incident shows that medical negligence is yet to be fully addressed in the Kingdom.

In 2019, a man died in Siem Reap province after receiving a shot from a doctor whose medical certificate expired in 1973.

Another man died in Phnom Penh’s Por Senchey district the previous year after a medical practitioner attempted to treat the patient’s dengue fever. In 2017, a private clinic in Pailin province was shut after a four-month-old child died following an injection.

In 2018, an investigation was launched into a malpractice case in Kampong Cham province in which  a woman suffered from stomach pains for three months because a handkerchief was left inside her body following a caesarean section.

Touch Sreyneang, Director of Human Resources Department at the Ministry of Health, said that both private and government hospital are required to hire only qualified and experienced doctors to perform surgeries.

“We will strengthen the measures to make sure that the hired doctors have adequate experience to work in both private and public clinics and hospitals,” she said.

She added that it is very disappointing to see negligence like this has been made during operations, particularly on pregnant women.

Hok Srun, Director of Department of Hospital Services of Health Ministry, said that hospitals, including the private ones, are governed by the Ministry, and they need to obtain licence from the Ministry as well.

He also said that the Ministry will send teams to inspect every hospital in the Kingdom on a regular basis to look into their technical, health, and employee profiles in an effort to prevent malpractices from occurring again.

“Hospitals cannot allow a recent graduate to perform an operation to show off their capacity. They must be cautious of the risk involved in doing so with the patient who is under their care,” he added.

He pointed out that private hospitals will not be spared from the Ministry’s regular inspection.