Junta threatens more Mandalay private hospitals with closure

Military authorities threatened the shutdown of two well-known private hospitals in Mandalay on Wednesday after arresting their owners and accusing them of hiring staff participating in the Civil Disobedience Movement (CDM).

Troops arrived that afternoon at the Kyal Sin Lin Hospital on 60th St in Maha Aungmyay Township to question the owner—whose identity was not confirmed at the time of reporting—and took him into military custody. He was also believed to have been detained last September. 

The Kyal Sin Lin Hospital in Mandalay

“The situation is very complicated right now. [The military] still hasn’t come to seal off the hospital but it isn’t accepting patients anymore and they are already asking the current patients to leave,” a medical service provider with ties to the facility told Myanmar Now. 

Staff said that the Duwun Hospital, on 28th St in Chanayethazan Township, was similarly targeted at 5pm on Wednesday; the owner was taken away from the site by members of the junta.  

Duwun was believed to still be providing medical services to patients at the time of reporting. 

Last December, five other private hospitals in Mandalay were closed down by the military for alleged ties to CDM staff: Myodaw, Nandaw, Gangaw, Htet Nay Lin and Sein Pan. 

Three employees, including a doctor, were arrested from Myodaw and Nandaw hospitals before the order to shutter them was issued. 

The Duwun Hospital in Mandalay

Hospitals in Mandalay have been routinely accused of hiring CDM doctors and nurses who left their posts at state-run health facilities in protest of the February 2021 military coup. Some 80 percent of medical staff in the region are believed to have joined the general strike, according to estimates by members of the healthcare community. 

One Mandalay-based doctor participating in the movement told Myanmar Now that many of his colleagues had increasingly been abandoning the CDM due to “the military’s various forms of coercion” to pressure them to return to work under the junta. 

In late October last year, the military reportedly arrested more than 30 CDM medical staff in Mandalay, including a lecturer from the city’s University of Medicine and a specialist physician. 

The junta has not released any information on its persecution of healthcare workers and providers in the central Myanmar city. 

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