A low-cost, subsidized medical clinic reopened last week in Kyaukkyi, Bago Region, expanding the remote area’s health care options, according to local politicians.
The Ther Ray Dao Pae Rehabilitation and Development Association, a community-based organization, relaunched the clinic on July 22. It had initially opened in June 2016, but shut soon after due to a lack of certified medical personnel in the area, according to clinic manager Saw Mann Shin
“We have reopened this clinic with doctors assigned by the Department of Public Health. The doctors and nurses hold official licenses. The clinic now offers an ultrasound service, which was not available in Kyaukkyi township before. We expect the clinic to reach the level of a teaching hospital [once we receive permission],” he said.
To boost the medical capacity in the remote location, he clinic aims to teach more local health care personnel once they build up the training center.
The relaunching ceremony was attended by the chair of the Karen National Union (KNU)’s Nyaunglaybin District office, the Tatmadaw’s tactical operations commander, the head of Bago Region’s Health and Treatment Department, the chair of the regional Hluttaw’s Ethnic Affairs Committee and other township-level officials.
“The residents from this hilly area don’t know how to speak Burmese. I believe opening this clinic will improve the health opportunities of the local Karen people from the hilly area,” said U Tin Sann Oo, chair of Bago Region Hluttaw’s Ethnic Affairs Committee.
He added that the foreign staff assisting the clinic received government approval to work there, since Kyaukkyi is considering a conflict area.
The Ther Ray Dao Pae Rehabilitation and Development Association’s clinic is support by Earth Mission, A US-based Christian non-profit. The clinic provides services on a cut-rate, or “affordable” fee scale, according to the staff.
The clinic currently operates with 11 staff members, including three local doctors, and several international volunteers.