Military Personnel Control over Hospitals Has Narrowed Access to Medical Care for most patients

Residents in Hpa-An and Myawaddy townships, Karen State observe that both state and private hospitals are increasingly controlled by the Junta personnel making it ever-more to access professional medical serves in a safe environment.

Military Council troops have taken control of hospital premises in Myawaddy, Kawkareik, Kyondoe, and Hlaingbwe townships. As a result, patients from the surrounding villages are concerned that they may face interrogation and arrest, if they seek medical treatment at these hospitals.

“I went to the hospital from Nabu and found military personnel at Kyondoe Hospital. They asked the patient and caregiver about the local PDF situation, which had nothing to do with illness. The doctor had to leave the hospital and go back to their own clinic to see patients, so those who came to the hospital had to wait until the doctor returned,” said a patient who came to the hospital.

There are reports indicating that when there is a requirement for blood to treat injured soldiers involved in combat operations in the Karen region, the Military Council exerts pressure on civilian organizations such as the Free Funeral Service Society and social relief associations to locate blood donors. Social relief association officials have stated that the military is carrying out daily emergency blood collections for patients by coercing them into finding blood donors

Civilians state that they depend on privately-owned medical facilities that have been established in collaboration with doctors and businessmen associated with the Military Council.

According to residents, the Military Council has instructed hospitals to be on standby for patients from their military departments. They have also been ordered to enhance security measures.

“These doctors have been providing medical treatment to patients within their private hospitals located in the town. The Military Hospital specifically caters to injured soldiers affiliated with the Military Council and the Border Guard Force (BGF). Additionally, Hpa-An Hospital has specified that they do not accept outpatients after 6 p.m,” said a resident of Hpa-An.

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