The Mae Tao Clinic said it is not returning to work in Burma, in a statement released on Tuesday to clarify recent meetings with Burmese government officials.
“We want everyone to know that the Mae Tao Clinic is not going back to Burma. Our services are still very much needed along the border as the government has a long way to go to provide adequate health care to the people of Burma, especially those in ethnic areas,” said Dr. Cynthia Maung, the founder of the Mae Tao Clinic, said in a statement published on its website.
The statement raised several key issues that Dr. Cynthia recently addressed during meetings with Burmese Minister Aung Min and the Myanmar Peace Team, including improving local cross-border collaboration and a referral system between the Mae Tao Clinic, the Myawaddy Hospital and the Mae Sot Hospital, and developing solutions for addressing statelessness in children born on the Thai-Burma border to Burmese parents. The meeting also discussed the need for accreditation and recognition of the skills of those working in health, education, community development and social work on the Thai-Burma border.
“Unfortunately, the people from the government side who joined the recent meetings did not have the necessary knowledge, experience or positions to be able to address these key issues. I hope that if the government wants to meet again, they will bring the right people so our conversations can have concrete outcomes towards improving health services along the border and inside Burma,” she said.
“We welcome the government’s interest in meeting with us and discussing health services, but we want future meetings to be official and productive in beginning to address the longstanding problems the people of Burma have faced, especially relating to health care needs in ethnic areas that have suffered under decades of armed conflict,” said Dr. Cynthia.