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Hun Sen orders crackdown on health

Pech Sotheary / Khmer Times Share:
The Prime Minister said modern equipment is not enough to ensure the safe treatment of patients. KT/Chor Sokunthea

Prime Minister Hun Sen yesterday reminded the Health Ministry to strictly examine the opening of clinics and sales of medicine by pharmacies to avoid harming people’s health.

Speaking at the inauguration of the National Cancer Centre and new maternity ward at Phnom Penh’s Calmette Hospital, Mr Hun Sen stressed that doctors must pay attention to the lives of patients, even though hospitals now have modern equipment and technology.

“If there is only equipment and medicine, but a lack of attention to serving and saving patients, it is impossible to help people, even with modern equipment,” he said.

“I still call on doctors to increase their sense of responsibility and promote professional ethics. I do not want to hear people saying, ‘90 percent of doctors are bad and 10 percent are good’. I don’t want to hear this because I don’t believe it.”

While the Health Ministry is preparing new laws to meet conditions on licensing clinics, which Cambodia promised the World Trade Organisation, Mr Hun Sen urged the ministry to thoroughly check on the opening of new clinics and pharmacies.

“Please carefully check the opening of clinics or pharmacies to prevent these places from causing difficult situations for people.”

San Soviet, a 36-year-old resident of Phnom Penh, supported the Prime Minister’s call to pay attention to people’s welfare.

However, he added, “Ask Samdech to also please lower the service price at the hospitals, because most poor people cannot afford to pay for treatment. I hope Samdech will have a solution to this problem.”

Health Ministry spokesman Ly Sovann said the ministry would continue working hard to strengthen professionalism and ethics in the medical sector.

“If people are not satisfied with any specific doctors or hospitals, please tell us directly. Do not make us find out who is still not in compliance with the code of ethics,” he said.

Mr Sovann said all clinics and pharmacies were required to have permits issued by the ministry.

“If they have a permit from the ministry, but do not work in accordance with the ethics code and technical guidelines we have set, we have a mechanism to punish and advise them. If they don’t listen to us, we will close that place.”

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