Health Ministry closes chain of dangerous beauty clinics


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Oct 08, 2023

Health Ministry closes chain of dangerous beauty clinics

The Ministry of Health has closed down all 11 branches of the S88 Beauty Clinic chain in Phnom Penh and the provinces after discovering the business was unlicensed and offering hazardous services to

The Ministry of Health has closed down all 11 branches of the S88 Beauty Clinic chain in Phnom Penh and the provinces after discovering the business was unlicensed and offering hazardous services to clients.

Over the weekend one customer at the clinic suffered serious complications and was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment.

The Ministry said in a statement on Saturday that the owner of the beauty clinic business failed to comply with technical requirements and violated correct procedures and conditions for opening, operating and relocating new branches of its clinics.

The beauty clinic chain opened several branches, none of them with permission from the Ministry of Health.

The Health Ministry uncovered the irregularities after a client, 40-year-old Chea Sothim, wife of comedian Cham Chanra known as “Peakmi”, experienced a serious health problem. She was rushed to hospital Saturday after receiving an intravenous injection of a “skin-whitening serum” at S88 Beauty Clinic located in Phsar Thmei III commune, Daun Penh district of Phnom Penh.

The woman reported that she developed chest tightness, shortness of breath and went to Calmette Hospital on Saturday.

Reportedly, her condition has improved as of yesterday.

The Ministry immediately closed and revoked the licence of the head office of S88 Beauty Clinic in Choam Chao III commune, Por Senchey district. City and provincial authorities cooperated to close the clinic along with 10 of its other unlicensed locations.

The various branches of the S88 Beauty Clinic are located in Daun Penh, Chamkar Mon, Sen Sok, Tuol Kork and Dangkor districts of Phnom Penh, as well as in the provinces of Preah Sihanouk, Kampot, Kampong Cham, Siem Reap and Battambang.

The Ministry added, “The Ministry of Health and the Capital and Provincial Administrations are trying to identify any other unknown branches and we will take legal action in accordance with the law.”

To protect the well-being of people from the potential dangers of beauty services, the Ministry requires all cosmetic, surgical and beauty service companies to apply for proper permits from the ministry.

Permits are issued by the Health Ministry only if the health service business meets all the standards required by inspections for correct technical conditions on the premises. Permits also require that the business meets relevant laws and regulations guaranteeing the quality, efficiency and safety of health services.

Dr Quach Mengly, a well-known public health expert, said that Cambodia faces a problem of illegal beauty service providers along with some general health clinic services. Too many clinics are staffed by unskilled workers and are unlicensed.

He added that the provision of beauty and general health services is based on clearly demonstrable skills and educational qualifications. Therefore, licensing must be provided with the utmost strictness and care. If any clinic does not fulfill all the correct conditions, its services can cause serious harm.

Dr Mengly said that he has seen similar incidents in the past. Service providers often operate without educated skills or correct licensing. They are permitted to run their business by authorities who do not enforce regulations, “with one-eye closed.”

“Before opening a business, any service or clinic must have proper permissions,” he said. “When there is permission, it means authorities agree that it can be done.

“Sometimes, even though the business owner is a medical practitioner with a certificate of competency, he or she does not provide the service himself, but instead employs unskilled staff to do the job for him.”

“When this happens we always see adverse reactions and life-threatening issues,” he said.

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