Prime Minister Hun Sen said on Monday that the government will provide $30 million for the state-run Calmette Hospital to continue the construction of a new 12-storey building.
Estimated to cost $39.7 million, the building is currently only 17 per cent complete.
In a Facebook post, Hun Sen said the government aimed to modernise Calmette and turn it into a national referral hospital.
To equip it with state-of-the-art medical equipment and materials, he said he had raised an additional $53 million from donors as of Sunday evening.
“While accompanying my mother-in-law at Calmette Hospital three days ago, I observed that it plays an important role in providing medical check-up and treatment to the people.
“But the hospital and the Ministry of Health lack funds for a new building and to equip both the new and existing buildings.
“I commend all the doctors and staff at the hospital for performing their work with great responsibility and professionalism.
“No matter how my mother-in-law’s condition develops while under intensive care, we children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren will accept it.
“Without competent doctors helping her, my mother-in-law would have left this world yesterday. At my house, we had already prepared a funeral for her.
“But thanks to the skill of the doctors, my mother-in-law continues to live longer with her children and grandchildren,” the prime minister said.
Minister of Health Mam Bun Heng could not be reached on Monday, while ministry spokesman Or Vandine declined to comment.
However, the ministry’s Facebook post on Monday quoted Vandine as saying she had gone for a medical check-up and treatment at the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital as she believed its doctors were fully competent and followed medical ethics.
“I will continue to use the medical services offered by Cambodian doctors. While receiving medical care at the hospital, I observed that many Cambodians who received treatment at the hospital expressed confidence in our doctors,” she said.
Lo Veasnakiri, the director of the Ministry of Health’s Department of Planning and Information, declined to comment on Monday.
Calmette Hospital director Chheang Ra could not be reached on Monday.
Yong Kim Eng, the director of the NGO People’s Centre for Development and Peace, said while he agreed that Cambodia currently had sufficient hospitals, more needs to be done to address hygiene and medical ethics.
He said some hospitals lack proper medical equipment while the doctors’ professionalism remained a concern. That, he said, had made the public lose trust in the Kingdom’s health sector while those who were better-off sought medical care abroad.