Myanmar Junta to Close Three Mandalay Hospitals

By Hein Htoo Zan 18 May 2023

Myanmar’s junta has revoked the licenses of three private hospitals in Mandalay for employing striking medics.

Monday‘s leaked junta order stated that the business licenses of Kant Kaw, City and Palace hospitals have been revoked as they failed to follow Article 19(a) of licensing rules for private healthcare services.

Sources said the hospitals, which collectively employ about 800 staff, had been targeted because they hired and helped striking medics who joined the civil disobedience movement (CDM).

City Hospital in Mandalay.

Hundreds of medics from Yangon and Mandalay initiated the CDM on February 3, 2021, by refusing to work under the regime, two days after the coup.

A CDM doctor in Mandalay said closing private hospitals would block income for striking medics. The junta has taken no action to care for the three hospitals’ patients.

Plainclothes junta personnel arrested Dr Win Khaing and two colleagues in December while he was treating patients at Palace Hospital in Chanayethazan Township.

The urology and renal surgeon joined the CDM after the coup.

In October and November, at least 30 doctors and nurses were detained in Mandalay. Among them was Daw Poe Thandar Aung, a striking nurse who was accused of sending medicines to resistance groups, who died at an interrogation center.

Following the arrests, the junta temporarily closed five private hospitals, including Kant Kaw, City and Palace, in Mandalay. The status of the other two hospitals remains unknown, according to sources.

A Mandalay resident said the junta has been frequently targeting private hospitals and schools to seize CDM participants and stop the public from relying on private healthcare and education.

“People with a little disposable income use private schools and hospitals as the public hospitals no longer have enough staff, equipment and medicines since the coup,” said the resident.

The civilian National Unity Government’s health ministry said the junta revoked the medical practitioner licenses of 557 CDM doctors throughout Myanmar.

By late April, more than 800 healthcare staff had been detained by the junta, of whom at least 71 had died in custody.