Prime Minister Hun Sen said public health has been enhanced through the heroic efforts of the Kingdom’s medical staff and that while Cambodia is weak in equipment and the latest medical technology, their spirit and dedication remained strong.
Hun Sen made the remarks at the March 7 inauguration of the Cambodia-China Friendship Hospital Tbong Khmum – the first modern hospital in the province and the largest in the Kingdom’s 24 provinces. Cambodia has accepted responsibility for the wellbeing of its people, he said.
“I can accept the denigration of Cambodia’s health system because we are weak in terms of resources. What is not weak is the heart of our nation. Who expected that Cambodia would be a success story when it came to the global pandemic?” he said.
“Cambodia acknowledges that it is lacking in modern health care facilities, but thanks to the conscience and dedication of our medical teams, the Kingdom has suffered less than many countries with higher healthcare budgets – countries which assessed themselves as advanced,” he added.
Despite the unfair judgement of the country’s health system, the premier was confident in his decision making during the pandemic.
“I hope that the problems do not lie with whether the hospitals are clean and modern or not, but in the ethics and attitudes of their medical staff. Their single-minded devotion to the care of our people has been an inspiration. Previously, our health professionals were sometimes insulted, but during the fight against Covid-19 they have been referred to as an army clothed in white,” he said.
Hun Sen hoped that all medical staff would continue to display their remarkable attitudes and dedication to public health.
According to the Ministry of Health, the Cambodia-China Friendship Hospital Tbong Khmum consists of nine buildings on a site of nearly 60,000sqm. Built at a cost of $50 million – with a grant from China – its 200-strong staff would utilise the latest international standard technology and equipment. The hospital incorporates maternity, gynaecology and paediatrics wards, and will be managed digitally.
“This hospital will provide enormous benefits not only to Tbong Khmum province but to the neighbouring provinces as well. This regional hospital will serve at least six provinces, thanks to its specialised wards,” he added.
Health minister Mam Bun Heng said that construction had taken 32 months.
“This new facility is a remarkable gift from governments of Cambodia and China to the people of the country’s northeast regions. We will not let anyone miss out on health services,” he said.