Ratanakkiri nurse suspended after row with baby’s mother

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Ratanakkiri provincial hospital director Hing Phan Sakunthea said he had taken administrative action against nurse Chan Sokchea and reassigned him to the hospital’s financial administration section. Photo supplied

The Ratanakkiri Provincial Referral Hospital has suspended nurse Chan Sokchea from work after a baby’s mother accused him of throttling her and using insulting language during an argument after she had admitted her baby daughter for treatment on Wednesday.

According to a letter signed by hospital director Hing Phan Sakunthea on Wednesday, Sokchea has been temporarily suspended from nursing.

Phan Sakunthea said on Thursday that although the mother An Menea, 28, from Banlung town, had misrepresented the circumstances, he had taken administrative action against Sokchea and reassigned him to the hospital’s financial administration section.

“I led a meeting to investigate the issue. The mother distorted the facts about the incident with the nurse. However, we have dealt with the case already.

“A seven-month-old baby had dengue fever and was brought to the hospital, but the mother then decided she wanted to leave to seek treatment elsewhere without telling anyone why.

According to the minutes of the meeting, Menea then became involved in an argument with Sokchea.

In a video clip shared on Facebook, Menea claimed that Sokchea used unacceptable language with her and then grabbed her mobile phone, which she was using to take photos and video of the argument.

She shouted that Sokchea had throttled her, before other hospital staff intervened and Sokchea left the scene.

The minutes of Phan Sakunthea’s meeting said Sokchea told a complaint-handling committee that the mother asked for a discharge form so she could take her baby elsewhere to receive medical care.

He said several other patients were waiting to fill in documents so hospital employees told Menea to join the queue.

However, he said, Menea insisted that they attend to her first, became furious, shouted foul language and used her mobile phone to take photos of them.

Sokchea said he asked her stop taking photos but she declined to do so, so he took the phone away from her because he deemed that she had violated the hospital’s regulations, there being a sign on the wall saying “no cameras”.

“I did not throttle her as she has accused. Other customers and medical staff were also there,” he said.

The meeting concluded that Sokchea did not explain the reason for taking the phone from Menea, so they temporarily suspended Sokchea from his position.