“After My Son Was Born, He Died; His Weight Was 3.5 kg” – Monday, 12.1.2009

Posted on 13 January 2009. Filed under: Week 595 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Monday, 12.1.2009

The Mirror, Vol. 13, No. 595

“Phnom Penh: Ms. Socheata (name changed to maintain her safety) who was at the end of her pregnancy, she started having labor pains, had hot and cold flushes, and she was starting to lose amniotic fluid. That happened in the night of 1 January 2009. She was brought by her family to the National Maternal Child Health Center – which many people still call the ‘Japanese Hospital’ – because she regularly went there for prenatal examinations.

“Mr. Sambath, her husband (also name changed to maintain his safety), said that he brought his wife to the emergency room, and his first task was to pay money. Then they checked the dilatation of the uterine cervix, and the doctors said that during that night her uterine cervix had not opened, and they told them to go back home.

“The Japanese Hospital, the National Maternal Child Health Center, is located in Srah Chak, Daun Penh, Phnom Penh. This hospital is at the west of Wat Srah Chak. Japan had assisted this hospital, and even though Japan had stopped assisting this hospital two or three years ago, it is still called the Japanese Hospital by the people. The director of this hospital is Dr. Kum Kanal.

“On 4 January 2009, at 1:30 p.m., Socheata started again having strong labor pains; so she came to let doctors check for the second time. Mr. Sambath said that in more than 16 hours, since 1:30 p.m. of 4 January 2009 to 4:20 a.m. of 5 January 2009, the baby was still alive, but due to carelessness, the baby finally died.

“Mr. Sambath complained, ‘Because we are poor, they left my wife unattended; the baby boy died before he knew anything and had not yet seen the sunlight.’ Also, he asked Samdech Dekchor Hun Sen, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Cambodia, and the Minister of Health, Mr. Mam Bunheng, to help seek justice, or to provide a proper solution, and especially not to let this bad model continue, endangering more lives of lovely babies and wives.

“In the afternoon of 5 January 2009, Mr. Sambath phoned Mr. Mam Bunheng and told him the story, and 15 minutes later, the director of the National Maternal Child Health Center, Mr. Kum Kanal, was made to be very busy. In the evening of 6 January 2009, there was a meeting about the death of Mr. Sambath’s son, led by Mr. Kum Kanal. That was what was known.

“Some staff of the Japanese Hospital who love justice told Rasmei Kampuchea in the afternoon of 7 January 2009 that there is systematic corruption, and that there are persons who cover this, who are not afraid of anyone, except the director. They went on to say that at the National Maternal Child Health Center, the number of patients declined to almost half of what it had been before. Patients go to the Calmette Hospital, and furthermore, some staff left to work there. In January 2009, there was information that there will be an investigations about irregularities at the National Maternal Child Health Center by the Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs and Inspection. The staff of the National Maternal Child Health Center want to perform good work, but some of them are committing crimes by using babies as hostage to press their parents for money.

“A former undersecretary of state of the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, who experienced the same as Mr. Sambath with his son, expressed deep regret, and he said that some doctors do not have mercy and sympathy for human lives.

“There are notices written on the walls of the Japanese hospital with big Khmer letters on blue background, saying please do not pay anything to the staff, but only to the cashiers. Patients who are not able to pay for the services are invited to contact a monitoring group, and if someone asks for money in addition to the prescribed service fees, they should be reported to the monitoring group. The service charges at the National Maternal Child Health Center are Riel 14,300 [approx. US$3.50] for a woman delivering her first baby, and Riel 73,000 [approx. US$18] for a woman delivering her second or third baby; the normal room charge is Riel 10,000 [approx. US$2.50] per night.

“However, everything is different from the above prohibition notice. Each patient pays extra money in addition to the services, such as: Riel 40,000 [approx. US$10] or 50,000 [approx. US$12.30] or US$30 for doctors, Riel 10,000 [approx. US$2.50] to each medical staff who injects, outside of the working hours, three syringes three times per day (it is not known whether they use government provided or private medicine), Riel 2,000 [approx. US$0.50] for bathing a baby, Riel 2,000 for cleaning the wounds of a woman, and there are other cases where patients are treated for money outside the government services [using this public hospital to treat patients privately and earn money from private persons] during the mornings; each medical staff earns at least Riel 100,000 [approx. US$25] for services outside the public system.

“A woman staying at Room 215 on the first floor said that, when the head of her baby appeared half way, first the doctors asked her how much money she would offer them. That woman offered them Riel 50,000 [approx. US$12.30], but the doctors demanded Riel 70,000 [approx. US$17] from her. Because she begged that that was all the money she had, they agreed. This is an incredible story, but that was what that woman said herself. Another woman staying in the next bed offered the doctors US$5.00, but only when they arrived at the sum of US$30.00 they agreed.

“Regarding these wrong and unauthorized expenses, the director of the hospital, Mr. Kum Kanal, and the Minister of Health, Mr. Mam Bunheng, could not be reached for comment.

“Mr. Sambath brought his wife back from the hospital, and could only tell this story to other people. ‘He said that his dead baby was a son. They told me that he was not born prematurely, and that he weighed 3.5 kg, but he died.’

“They did not agree to deliver the body of his baby to him to celebrate a proper funeral for him.” Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4792, 11-12.1.2009

Newspapers Appearing on the Newsstand:
Monday, 12 January 2009

Kampuchea Thmey, Vol.8, #1844, 11-12.1.2009

  • [The president of the National Assembly and honorary president of the Cambodian People’s Party] Samdech Heng Samrin Leads a Delegation of the National Assembly to Visit Laos and Vietnam
  • Primary Schools in Suburbs Lack 50 Buildings Corresponding to 1,000 Rooms [each room can accept between 60 and 70 students – Phnom Penh]
  • A Man Was Arrested by Police for Raping a Six-Year-Old Girl [Kampot]
  • Cholera Killed 500 Buffaloes in Krakor District [Pursat]
  • In 2008 Unemployment in the United States Reached a New Record [there were 2.6 million unemployed people]

Khmer Aphivoath Sethakech, Vol.7, #321, 12.1.2009

  • Prime Minister Samdech Hun Sen Decides to Attend the 14th ASEAN Summit in Thailand [held from 27 February 2009 to 1 March 2009]
  • The Documentation Center of Cambodia provides Khmer Rouge History into the Curriculum [of the Ministry of Education, Youth, and Sport]

Khmer Machas Srok, Vol.3, #324, 11-13.1.2009

  • Prince Ranariddh Responds to Insult by Hun Sen [that there are people preparing documents to ask for positions from him; Prince Ranariddh asked Prime Minister Hun Sen to release the names of those people]

Khmer Sthapana, Vol.2, #180, 11-12.1.2009

  • Fishery Official: During this Moon-Month of Khneot 10,000 Tonnes of Fish Could be Caught to Make Prahok for the Citizens
    Japan Donates Machines to Help with Mine Clearance in Cambodia [of more than US$4 million]

Koh Santepheap, Vol.42, #6549, 12.1.2009

  • Japan Promises to Encourage a Project to Construct a Neak Loeang Bridge Soon [in Prey Veng – according to the Japanese Minister of Foreign Affairs , Mr. Nakasone Hirofumi]
  • There Were 34 Crime Cases Less in 2008 Than in 2007 [there had been 224 cases in 2007]

Meatophum, Vol.53, #718, 12-17.1.2009

  • The Price of One Certificate [for Khmer citizens, to get employment, to register their place of residence, or to get married in a foreign country] Is US$5, but the Price Goes Up and Down Whether It Is Urgent or Not! [US$5 for 1 month – it takes one month to receive a certificate, US$45 for 15 days, US$100 for one week, and US$150 for one day; but these extra charges do not go to the Ministry of Economy and Finance…]

Moneaksekar Khmer, Vol.16, #3663, 12.1.2009

  • [The president of the opposition Sam Rainsy Party] Sam Rainsy: If There Is No Decentralization, There Is No Democracy [on 31 January 2009, the Sam Rainsy Party will hold a decentralization congress, summoning all its 2,660 commune council members countrywide]
  • The Phnom Penh Municipal Court Will Take Action according to the Complaint of Corruption Allegations at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal [filed by foreign co-defense lawyers of former Khmer Rouge leader Nuon Chea – according to the president of the Municipal Court, Mr. Chiv Keng]

Rasmei Kampuchea, Vol.17, #4792, 11-12.1.2009

  • ”After My Son Was Born, He Died; His Weight Was 3.5 kg”
  • The Group Who Planted Explosive Devices Belongs to a “Front for Uniting the Nation” [four suspects are arrested]

Have a look at the last editorial – you can access it directly from the main page of the Mirror.

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