Yangon govt to clamp down on un­li­censed health clin­ics

The Myanmar Times - - News -

THE Yangon Re­gion gov­ern­ment has an­nounced that it will con­duct in­spec­tions and take ac­tion against un­li­censed tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine clin­ics in the city.

U Naing Ngan Lin, re­gional min­is­ter for so­cial af­fairs, told the state hlut­taw last week that the gov­ern­ment had re­cently found two clin­ics in Yangon op­er­at­ing with­out per­mis­sion from the Min­istry of Health and Sports.

“We are in­ves­ti­gat­ing other Chi­nese clin­ics and will take ac­tion to close other [un­li­censed] op­er­a­tors down,” he said.

Tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine is a pop­u­lar way of cur­ing bone and join­tre­lated pain, and clin­ics can be widely found through­out down­town Yangon.

Ac­cord­ing to the law re­lat­ing to pri­vate health­care, any per­son of­fer­ing such ser­vices with­out a li­cence faces a jail term rang­ing from six months to five years and may also be fined. Un­li­censed clin­ics also face clo­sure.

The Yangon Re­gion di­rec­tor of the Depart­ment of Med­i­cal Ser­vices, Dr Thar Tun Kyaw, said au­thor­i­ties had per­ma­nently shut­tered three un­li­censed clin­ics op­er­at­ing in Yangon since April.

Dr Thar Tun Kyaw warned prospec­tive pa­tients of the po­ten­tial dan­gers of us­ing un­li­censed clin­ics.

“[The op­er­a­tors] did not of­fi­cially ap­ply to the depart­ment to open th­ese clin­ics. The cost of treat­ment was very high at th­ese clin­ics and they used Chi­nese medicine tech­niques. We can’t con­firm whether [peo­ple pro­vid­ing the treat­ments] are the real doc­tors or not be­cause they did not sub­mit a li­cence,” he said.

Ac­cord­ing to the depart­ment, it is not only tra­di­tional Chi­nese medicine clin­ics that have been found to be un­li­censed.

Pabe­dan town­ship law­maker U Than Naing Oo said pri­vate clin­ics ad­ver­tise by hand­ing out fly­ers, and many of them fo­cus on re­pro­duc­tive health.

U Than Naing Oo said he had vis­ited a num­ber of clin­ics af­ter re­ceiv­ing ad­ver­tis­ing ma­te­rial and found the con­di­tions to be sub-stan­dard.

“I’m worry that the un­li­censed clin­ics pro­vide abor­tion treat­ments. This treat­ment is il­le­gal and very dan­ger­ous for the pa­tients,” he said. “The gov­ern­ment should also in­spect th­ese kinds of clin­ics to see whether they are re­ally li­censed or not. If they don’t, peo­ple may be en­dan­gered.”

A mem­ber of the Myan­mar Med­i­cal Coun­cil told The Myan­mar Times that pa­tients should not be­lieve all they read in clin­ics’ ad­ver­tis­ing and that the gov­ern­ment needs to take strong ac­tion against il­le­gal clin­ics to en­sure pub­lic safety. In ad­di­tion to health risks, many pri­vate clin­ics ad­ver­tise that they em­ploy for­eign doc­tors, which can sig­nif­i­cantly in­crease the price of treat­ment.

Daw Khin Hnin Aye re­cently con­tacted a pri­vate clinic in Daw­bon town­ship, where she is a res­i­dent, which as­sured her of the qual­ity of its med­i­cal ser­vices, and told her that they em­ployed Tai­wanese doc­tors along with lo­cal staff.

“The clinic told me that their doc­tors didn’t make mis­takes but I didn’t trust them be­cause I felt they couldn’t pro­vide me with a guar­an­tee of good treat­ment,” she said.

Dr Thar Tun Kya called for the pub­lic’s as­sis­tance in the gov­ern­ment’s at­tempts to close down un­li­censed clin­ics.

“Pub­lic knowl­edge and co­op­er­a­tion are needed,” he said. “If the peo­ple in­form the au­thor­i­ties about the un­li­censed clin­ics, they will take ac­tion. Where they are and what they do is the type of use­ful in­for­ma­tion needed.”

MYINT KAY THI

YE MON

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